Thanks to their win Sunday night against St. Louis, the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks are the first team in modern NFL history to win their division with a losing record. They are the 4th seed and will host the 11-5 Saints on Saturday, January 8, at 3:30pm.
The Saints pounded the Seahawks eight weeks prior, a 34-19 victory that saw both Drew Brees and Matt Hasselbeck light up their opposing defenses for a combined 748 passing yards. Despite being down and with the game mostly out of reach, Pete Carroll's Seahawks fought until the end.
Between their never surrender attitude, a late time out and a late replay challenge, its possible that Payton was irritated enough to call for a run-up-the-score pass at the end of the game. With 23 seconds left at the Seattle eight yard line, Payton had Brees fire for Devery Henderson in the end zone, only to have it intercepted by rookie safety Earl Thomas.
Its likely that decision will be discussed this week as the two teams meet again, and Carroll is surely going to use that as a motivational tool for his heavy underdog.
The other NFC wildcard game is Sunday at 3:30, with the Packers going into Philadelphia. Should the Saints win in Seattle, they will head to either Atlanta (if the Eagles beat the Packers) or Chicago (if the Packers beat the Eagles).