Before a national audience, Seattle unabashedly silenced their critics and systematically destroyed one of the best teams in the game. The Seahawks dominated the visiting Saints in spectacular fashion with one thrilling play after another.
Russell Wilson was absolutely brilliant. Wilson threw for 310 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was both the game's leading passer as well as the game's leading rusher. He was flawless-- but so seemed everyone around him.
The receiving group, who friend-of-the-blog Bo Thornton described as "Russell's legion of slot receivers", were excellent from top to bottom. Zach Miller looked like Playoff Zach Miller thanks to the health of the offensive line.
If you ask me, you could take the ex-Vikings receivers off this team and still have a championship caliber receiving core. Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse are plenty capable.
It was the defense, however, that really impressed me. Going into this game, Saints quarterback Drew Brees had a streak of 43 consecutive games with at least 200 passing yards. Seattle held him to 147 yards last night. The Saints 7 points were the fewest they've scored in 5 years.
Just like last year, Seattle overcame suspensions in their secondary seemingly effortlessly. The next man always steps up and tonight it was Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane. Maxwell and Lane were fantastic filling in for the suspended Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond.
The main difference from last year is the huge increase in production from Seattle's front seven. Cliff Avril, Red Bryant, Chris Clemons, Michael Bennett, Clinton McDonald, Tony McDaniel and Brandon Mebane have been stout all year while still improving each week.
Coach Carroll has his boys rolling-- but their greatest regular season task lies just six short days ahead. Seattle will have to travel to San Francisco this Sunday for their final test of supremacy and it will be no easy task. Seattle is 11-1 with the best record in the NFL, but the 49ers are finally coming together.
A win in San Francisco will give Seattle their second division title of the Pete Carroll era and lock up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. A season sweep of the 49ers will alleviate all doubt of who the best team in football is. Home-field advantage throughout the playoffs will force the road to the Super Bowl through the loudest stadium in the world.
But, as I'm sure every member of the organization would tell you, it's all about focusing on the 49ers right now. One game at a time. Win Forever. Always Compete.