Carroll says this Saints game is different

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle coach Pete Carroll knows some people will compare the upcoming Monday night game against New Orleans to the 2010 playoff game when the Seahawks defeated the Saints 41-36 at CenturyLink Field.

“I don't think it's anywhere near the same situation,” Carroll said Monday on his 710 ESPN Seattle radio show. “At that point, we hadn't done a whole lot. We were kind of the Cinderella shot coming out of nowhere. Like Rocky or something, so it was a totally different matchup.”

The Seahawks didn't even have a winning record entering that game. They were 7-9 in the regular season. The Saints were the defending Super Bowl champs.

"That isn't what this game is,” Carroll said. “This is two teams that are doing really well. But the crowd and the setting and all that will be similar. We want to feel very comfortable in that stadium. We count on that.”

At 10-1, Seattle is the last team in the NFL with only one loss. The Saints are 9-2, so this game could decide home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.

“They are a fantastic team,” Carroll said of the Saints. “It's obvious how well they're playing since [head coach] Sean Payton came back. Sean really knows what he's doing and how to maximize his players' talents. [Quarterback] Drew Brees is playing great football and [tight end] Jimmy Graham is doing a great job as he featured receiver. You can tell by the way they carry themselves that they expect to win.”

So do the Seahawks, of course, something Carroll said he has learned about his team this season, despite the news of two players suspensions this week.

“These guys are winners and they know how to win,” Carroll said. “We practice so well and prepare so well that we have a chance to win every game. We know what it takes.”

But don't get cocky. That was Carroll's first message to the players when they returned from the bye week.

"They'll be nobody patting them on the back about how great they are,” Carroll said. “I'm sure [during the bye week] they heard, ‘Oh you guys are awesome.' So we'll have fun with it and call them names or something to try to bring them back down to earth a little bit.”