- Gary Horton, Scouts Inc.
After breaking down film, Scouts Inc. gives its take on what to watch in the NFL this weekend:
New Orleans (11-5) at Seattle (7-9), Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET
New Orleans: When these teams played each other in November, Drew Brees had an excellent day passing, and it seemed that most of his big plays were down the seams. Seattle played a lot of Cover 1 with a single high safety and off-zone corners. Brees can send as many as four receivers on those vertical routes, and the Seahawks don't have the corners to match up in turn-and-run situations. In that four-wide scheme in their earlier meeting, Brees looked right to lure the safety in that direction, and then came back and hit the slot receiver to the left on a seam-route touchdown. There are holes in the middle of this Seattle defense, and if Brees has time, he will exploit them.
Seattle: This pass offense is totally different when Matt Hasselbeck is at QB instead of Charlie Whitehurst. WR Mike Williams is the go-to guy in this passing game, and he and Hasselbeck had a productive day versus the Saints' defense in Week 11. Because the Seahawks lack speed at WR, they do not have great vertical weapons. They use a lot of double moves and pump fakes by the QB to "stretch" some of those routes and get defensive backs to jump them. Williams does an excellent job of showing the slant route to freeze the safety and lure the corner up. Then he plants, changes direction and breaks for the post. It is a route that worked in November versus these aggressive Saints corners. They will have to be aware of it Sunday.