Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
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METAIRIE, La. ― A little less than a year ago, Gregg Williams sat in the stands of Fairhope Municipal Stadium on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay depressed and saddened that the Saints lost to Seattle and he was working on the draft instead of preparing for the NFC championship game and a Super Bowl.
Four months ago, as the Saints were getting ready for the 2011 season, the loss to Seattle in the wild card round of the playoffs was a mainstay point of emphasis in New Orleans’ locker room, safety Malcolm Jenkins said.
So, on Monday, a day after the Saints learned they’d be hosting Detroit on Saturday at 7 p.m. in another wild card game, there was no need to ask about the Seattle game.
It already was on the team’s collective mind and the experience, the learning the sudden finality of the football season, should help this week.
“Fortunately the core of this team has been in this situation before that you don’t really need to go back and point it out to remember it,” Saints right tackle Zach Strief said. “I think everybody remembers pretty well what happened last year.”
With all apologies to ignoring the offense, they weren’t an issue at Seattle. The Saints outgained the Seahawks 474-415 despite being down to Julius Jones at running back.
The issue in the Pacific Northwest turned out to be the defense, the inability to bring down Marshawn Lynch, who ran around and through the Saints for 131 yards and a 6.9 yard-per-carry average, and the inability to cover receivers.
The Saints believe that experience a year ago, losing to a 7-9 team in the playoffs, will help in preparing for Saturday’s game.
“It helps that you’ve been through it, you’ve experienced tough losses, a big loss in a game you expected to win in the most crucial times,” Saints safety Roman Harper said. “If you don’t show up and if you don’t play with a sense of urgency and discipline, a team can beat you, even a team you’re not supposed to lose to.”