Will Smith (5.5 sacks) is a force. The player that really has stepped up is DT Sedrick Ellis. He has six sacks and is now re-setting the line of scrimmage with regularity. Waves of fresh bodies are used up front and the unit is relentless.
MLB Jonathan Vilma is one of the smartest players in the NFL. His anticipation is unmatched and he'll be tough to block in the running game. He's also fast enough to help in the short passing game. OLB Scott Shanle is underrated.
Injuries have hurt the return teams but Bush is still one of the most dangerous punt returners in the game. PK Garrett Hartley has been very shaky. The coverage teams are solid and that will be huge because of Seattle's return teams.
DE Chris Clemons has had a monster year (11 sacks) but he was shut out in the first meeting with New Orleans. His backup, Raheem Brock, has nine sacks. Seattle will scheme to get those two in favorable spots, but pressuring Brees isn't easy.
Washington is one of the most dangerous punt and kick returners in the NFL. Odds are the Saints won't kick/punt to him much to reduce any chance of a big play. PK Olindo Mare has been reliable from 45 yards in.
Seattle is definitely happy just to be here. At 7-9, everything is gravy at this point. There are some proud vets on this team and you cannot discount the element of the 12th Man. The danger of Leon Washington also could be a huge factor.