RENTON — Before Pete Carroll turns his full attention to Seattle’s playoff opponent, he’ll make sure the Seahawks aren’t expecting another easy win against New Orleans like in Week 13.
“We learned and gained information in the game as they did, but we start all over again and start from scratch,” Carroll said Monday. “We take a look at what happened since we played them. But I think it would be a mistake to try and call it because of what has happened in the past. We don’t care about that.”
Carroll and the Seahawks will face New Orleans on Saturday in the second round of the playoffs less than six weeks after Seattle routed the Saints 34-7 in early December. That win proved significant for Seattle in wrapping up home-field advantage in the NFC and dropping New Orleans in a wild-card position and on the road throughout the playoffs.
But for all Seattle did in turning that first meeting into a blowout, Carroll wants a new attitude by game time on Saturday.
“I think it’s common knowledge and human nature that you would like to think it’s going to be the same, but we know better than that,” Carroll said. “We need to respect this opportunity for what it is. It’s a great championship matchup for us, and they’re going to come loaded up and give us a great football game.”
Carroll said it was beneficial knowing their opponent Saturday night rather than waiting for the result of Sunday’s game between Green Bay and San Francisco.
He’s noticed the Saints are committed to running the ball more than when the teams first played. New Orleans ran the ball 36 times in its 26-24 win over Philadelphia on Saturday, a trend over the final two weeks of the regular season. The Saints have had at least 30 rushing attempts in their past three games, after just 17 when they lost to Seattle.
“They ran it quite a bit at Philadelphia. It could have been because of that offense and the conditions and all of that,” Carroll said. “We’ll have to see how that figures into our game.”
Seattle won’t practice until Tuesday, but one of the lingering questions is the status of wide receiver Percy Harvin and whether he’ll play in his second game of the season on Saturday. Harvin’s only game was in Week 11 against Minnesota. He participated in practice last week for the first time since that game and will need to make it through this week without any setbacks to play against the Saints.
Harvin was expected to play the first time, but was not unable to overcome soreness around his surgically repaired hip.