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Andrew Juge is the Lead Writer for the New Orleans Saints blog, Saints Nation.  You can follow him on Twitter @gosaintsnation.

Saints’ Keys to Victory against Seahawks

1. Brees must protect the football

While Drew Brees has had a good season, most would agree that it was subpar by his usual standard. The stat that immediately jumps out is that he’s thrown at least one interception in the last 12 games. Turnovers is what’s kept the Saints from blowing a lot of teams out and it’s been in large part responsible for their 5 losses. Brees threw a career high 22 interceptions this season (double last year). If he can manage to go the entire game without a turnover, the Saints cannot lose to the Seahawks.

2. Injury fill ins must step up

Sean Payton has been mum about injuries to a number of key players, so it’s difficult to know who will play and who will sit. Currently we know that Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory, Jeremy Shockey, Jimmy Graham and Malcolm Jenkins are at best probable and at worst out for this game. That’s a lot of key players at a crucial time. Because the Saints are so banged up at tight end and running back particularly, backups at those positions will need to step up. More than anyone else, the Saints will need a big performance from Reggie Bush.

3. Manage the conditions

The Saints will be playing outdoors, in Seattle, in a stadium known as one of the loudest and most hostile environments in the league. The Seahawks are overmatched in every aspect of this game if you compare both teams straight up. The Saints are 6th on offense and 4th on defense. The Seahawks are 28th and 27th, respectively. The Seahawks will need the elements (wind, rain, snow, low temperatures) and the crowd to help them even the playing field. If the Saints can “weather the storm”, pun intended, they’ll come out of Seattle with a win.