It was impossible not to think of the New Orleans Saints while watching the way Super Bowl XLVIII unfolded. The Denver Broncos had the most prolific offense in the NFL this season, but they looked completely out of sorts against the Seattle Seahawks' defense in a stunning 43-8 rout.
The Broncos looked just as hapless and hopeless as the Saints did in their two losses at Seattle this season (especially the first meeting in December).
I’m not sure if that makes the Saints feel any better. But I actually think it does put New Orleans’ 2013 season in a little better light.
Sunday’s Super Blowout helps to emphasize the point that Seattle’s defense is by far the most dominant unit in the NFL right now – and that it can make opposing offenses look worse than they really are.
More importantly from New Orleans’ perspective, it should ease any concerns about whether the Saints’ downfield passing attack is showing significant signs of decline.
As I wrote after the Saints’ season-ending 23-15 loss at Seattle in the divisional round of the playoffs, the one thing that truly doomed the Saints this year was their inability to win at Seattle. It was the one combination of opponent and elements that they simply could not overcome.
Of course, that will remain a concern going forward, since the Seahawks will kick off 2014 as the favorites to repeat as NFC champions.
However, the Saints don’t have to play Seattle in the regular season. So it’s entirely possible New Orleans could wind up with a better regular-season record and force the Seahawks to have to come through the Superdome in the playoffs.
That’s a game I would love to see. Because while the Seahawks’ defense/home-field advantage is the toughest combination in the NFL right now, the Saints’ offense/home-field advantage isn’t far behind.