Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka was one of the most efficient kickers in the league this season, connecting on 33 of 35 field-goal attempts, including all three attempts from 50-plus yards. And punter Jon Ryan also was solid – he averaged 42.7 yards per punt, 39.2 yards net with 28 punts inside the 20.
Ryan, especially, could be key if it becomes a field-position game. Golden Tate (11.5 yards) was good as a punt returner and Jermaine Kearse (21.8) was efficient as a kick returner, but Percy Harvin returns for Saturday's game and he could take over for Kearse. Harvin has five kickoff return touchdowns in his NFL career.
"He is a dynamic player," Saints Coach Sean Payton said of Harvin. "He can run exceptionally fast. He can change direction very well. You have to pay attention to where he is any time he is on the field as a returner and clearly as someone that can line up in a lot of different spots that we've seen as a player on offense."
Said Seattle Coach Pete Carroll: "Percy Harvin has been kind of famous for returning balls as deep as he can get it. But he's one of the best there is at doing it. Few guys can live that way."