New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton lifted the playoff monkey off his team’s back with a road win against Philadelphia on Saturday. Payton, however, understands attempting to defeat Seattle on the road is a totally different animal.
The Saints had never won a playoff road game, but that streak ended when New Orleans defeated Philadelphia, 26-24, in an NFC wild-card contest. It was the first playoff road win in Payton’s career, and New Orleans advanced to play against Seattle in CenturyLink Field this weekend.
Payton, though, is not naive enough to believe a road win against Philadelphia translates into an automatic victory in Seattle.
“Each stadium presents a different environment to some degree,” Payton told reporters on Sunday. “For our team we have a lot of young players on this team. Going to Philadelphia is one thing. Going to Seattle is another. Each can be challenging in their own ways. Certainly noise is an issue on the road with the challenges to communication it can create. Those are all things you experience, you have to work through, and that we try to replicate here.”
Payton definitely does not want to duplicate New Orleans’ previous performance at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle defeated New Orleans, 34-7, during the regular season. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns, while Saints quarterback Drew Brees was held to 147 passing yards, one touchdown, and those seven points matched the fewest scored by the Saints since Sean Payton took over in 2006.
“That was a game we played not too long ago,” Payton said. “This is a team that has been dominant all season. They’re the No. 1 seed. They’re unbelievably talented defensively. Offensively they’re coached very well. They’re on a roll They’ve had one of those magical seasons, and we have our work cut out for this one.”
Arizona snapped Seattle’s 14-game win streak at home late in the season, but there is a reason why Payton is approaching this game with caution.
Payton knows winning in Seattle is a tougher task than defeating the Philadelphia Eagles on the road.
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