METAIRIE, La. — Ever since getting pounded by the Seahawks early last month, the Saints have learned to love the idea of going back to Seattle.

Coach Sean Payton has even had Seahawks logos painted on their outdoor and indoor practice fields.

“I feel like Coach Payton is putting us in the moment, you know, visualize this is where we’re going, this is what we’re going to do and this is how it’s going to look,” linebacker and defensive captain Curtis Lofton said Tuesday. “That’s how I took it.” 

In one respect, the moment is coming around for the second time since Dec.  2, when the Seahawks’ 34-7 win over New Orleans put Seattle in the driver’s seat for the NFC’s No. 1 seed and home advantage throughout the playoffs.

This time the stakes are significantly higher. The winner of Saturday afternoon’s playoff game advances to the NFC championship against either Carolina or San Francisco.

After the first meeting, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees said prophetically that if the Saints wanted to reach the Super Bowl, they’d probably have to return to Seattle in the playoffs.

“And here we are,” Brees said.

Colts, Patriots are used to close games

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Colts and the Patriots each had a big comeback this season.

The Colts overcame a

28-point, third-quarter deficit to beat the Chiefs

45-44 in the wild card round Saturday. In the regular season, the Patriots overcame a 24-point halftime deficit against the Broncos for a 34-31 overtime victory.

“We’ve been in a lot of close games, they’ve been in a lot of close games,” Brady said. “They find a way to win them. That’s how they got to this point.”

The Colts are 6-1, including the playoffs, in games decided by six points or fewer. The Patriots are 8-4 in games decided by seven or fewer.

Extra points

  • Jeff Ireland
  • is out after six seasons as general manager of the Dolphins, who failed to reach the playoffs the past five years.

In a brief announcement Tuesday, Ireland and owner Stephen Ross said they mutually agreed to part ways. 

  • The Redskins have acquired another one of
  • Robert Griffin III
  • ’s former Baylor teammates.

The Redskins said Tuesday they have signed receiver David Gettis. Griffin and Gettis played together for two seasons at Baylor. Last month, the Redskins claimed Griffin’s college center, J.D. Walton, off waivers from the Broncos.