You’re the Seattle Seahawks. Nobody in the world was giving you a chance in the NFL playoffs. The New Orleans Saints were a 10-point favorite, the Seahawks were getting laughed at and nobody thought Seattle belonged. Throw it all out the window because the Seahawks took it to the Saints and dropped them at Qwest Field to open the playoffs, 41-36.
The Seahawks went down 10 early and looked to be all but dead in the first quarter. Needing a score, they battled back, with Matt Hasselbeck finding John Carlson for the score. The Saints widened the lead to 10 again, but the Seahawks fought back with another Hasselbeck to Carlson touchdown.
The Hawks were only beginning. Hasselbeck was nearly-flawless in the first half, throwing for three touchdowns and giving the Seahawks a 24-21 lead at the half as America sat stunned. The Seahawks scored again out of the half, putting the first 10 points of the final 30 minutes on the board.
The Saints, of course, battled back, coming within three by scoring 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. With trouble looming, it was Beastmode time as Marshawn Lynch rumbled to the end zone, breaking tackles and leaving bodies in his wake in one of the best runs I’ve ever seen.
That sealed it, with the Saints scoring one more touchdown, but missing the chance to recover the onside kick. The Seahawks, biggest underdog in playoff history and only losing team to make the playoffs, had done it. The defending Super Bowl champion was gone and the Seahawks are moving on.
Matt Hasselbeck threw for 272 yards, four touchdowns and one interception, coming on a pass that hit his receiver in the hands. Marshawn Lynch ran for 131 yards and a touchdown, coming on that amazing run. Brandon Stokley led the receivers with 73 yards and a touchdown on four catches.
With the world and the pundits laughing all the way, the Seahawks put their heads down and went to work in front of a rowdy 12th man. 60 minutes of game time later, they had stood toe-to-toe with the same Saints that beat them weeks ago, this time emerging as the winner. The Seahawks move on to face either the Atlanta Falcons or Chicago Bears in the next round, but opened some eyes and showed they belonged on Saturday against the Saints.