New Orleans vs. Seattle: A Defiant Matt Hasselbeck Says No Apologies Forthcoming

Seattle Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck ripped the Saints defense for 366 yards passing in a losing effort the last time these two teams played, in late November at the Superdome.

And Hasselbeck, who led the Seahawks to the Super Bowl five years ago, says that anybody waiting for an apology as a result of his team making the playoffs with a losing record (7-9) has, in the words of Judas Priest, "Another Thing Coming."

"Apologize to who?" Hasselbeck told the Seattle Times. "No, I've got nothing to apologize for."

In the Saints' regular season 34-19 win over Seattle, the Seahawks came in with a passing mentality and abandoned any effort to establish the run early in the contest. Seattle moved the ball, as Hasselbeck employed a variety of screen plays, but the Saints defense stiffened in the red zone.

Hasselbeck completed 32 of 44 passes for 366 yards with no interceptions and one touchdown.

The Saints were superb on third down (11-15, 73 percent) in defeating Seattle by 15 to improve to 7-3 on the season, just four days before they won in dramatic fashion over Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.

"It wasn't always pretty or clean, but I thought we played real hard with a lot of energy and effort," Sean Payton would say after the game.

Nobody outside of Seattle and a couple of ESPN nut jobs give the Seahawks a chance, as they enter a 10.5 point underdog to New Orleans, which seems to have put the NFC West Champions in a defiant mood.

"Good," Hasselbeck said about his team being such a heavy underdog.

Yet Seattle fans seem to have convinced themselves that their woeful warriors have a better than average shot, according to Seattle Times reporter Danny O'Neil:

"After all, the Saints are without two of their best running backs, Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory, both placed on injured reserve earlier this week. Safety Malcolm Jenkins and tight end Jimmy Graham have yet to practice this week. The Saints have to fly more than 2,000 miles to play a game outdoors and the franchise has never won a true road playoff game.

"Throw in the fact that Hasselbeck threw for more yards against this Saints defense than any other quarterback this season, and it's almost enough to make you forget the fact that Seattle was 7-9."

Randy's Prediction: New Orleans 34, Seattle 20

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