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Drew Brees faces historically great Seahawks pass D

When the New Orleans Saints traveled to Seattle for an early December throttling, Drew Brees limped away with his worst statistical line of the last decade. His offense didn't cross its own 30-yard line for a second time until deep into the third quarter.

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Drew Brees became the first quarterback in NFL history with three consecutive 5,000-yard seasons. Was it the best performance for a quarterback in 2013?

Is there reason to believe Brees will bounce back to lead the Saints to a shocking upset over the Seahawks?

The answer is a resounding "No."

According to research compiled by Chase Stuart of, the 2013 Seahawks boast one of the top five pass defenses of the last 64 years -- and the second-best since the 1970 merger.

This secondary boasts not one, but two legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidates.

Richard Sherman pulled off the difficult feat of leading the league in interceptions despite being the least targeted cornerback in the NFL. Earl Thomas' speed functions as a one-man safety net, allowing hard-hitting strong safety Kam Chancellor to play in the box like a linebacker.

Dan Quinn's defense is just the fourth in history to rank No. 1 in interceptions and passing yards allowed. The other three wound up in the Super Bowl.

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Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders both rank Seattle head and shoulders above the other 31 teams in pass defense. The Seahawks also have the luxury of one of the deepest and most effective pass-rushing defensive lines.

As we pointed out in Thursday's "Around The League Podcast" Divisional Round Weekend preview, this is quite simply a brutal matchup for the Saints. Everything they do well, the Seahawks excel at taking away.

Throw in a driving rain and a unique home-field advantage that consistently allows Seattle's front seven to get off the ball quicker than the offensive line, and Brees will struggle once again to find an exploitable weakness.

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