The problem, as I see it, is the Saints' defense, not the fact that the defending Super Bowl champs had to play a road game against a sub-.500 team. Strictly speaking, you don't give up more than 40 points to a 7-9 team. If you do, you'll lose, and you'll deserve it. That last running TD of the Seahawks was the closer, and a travesty to allow. Really poor tackling (though nice stiff-arm at the end). But enough already of how the Saints were defeated by a faulty playoff system. They were defeated by their defense. Truth be told, they won it all last year with a dynamic offense, as Brees had one of the best years ever for a quarterback. Their defense was lousy last year, too. They just had a better offense and, let's be honest, a lot of luck last year.
And how about giving some love to Hasselbeck? He's been a quality gunslinger for a long time; he always has the potential to beat you. The 'Hawks go as he goes. When he's on, he can pile up yards and just beat you with his arm. I didn't call the game for them, but I knew that it was very possible that the Saints could not cover the spread. Both teams had good offenses and bad defenses, and if the real Hasselbeck showed up--and he did--I knew this could be a close one, especially with the Seahawks at home. I should've bet.
Finally, how about a round of applause for Pete Carroll? He's lost the deer-in-the-headlights look he used to have with the Patriots, hasn't he? I guess that time at USC really turned him around. Good to see him picking himself up and dusting himself off in the NFL. He never was a bad guy in New England; people genuinely liked him around. He just seemed completely out of his element, over his head, or whatever your favorite cliche is. Maybe he just needs a smaller, less rabid media center to work in. I don't know what the media situation is in Seattle, but it can't be the blistering furnace that the sports media and fanbase is in New England.