Carroll says he will split practice time this week between Whitehurst and Hasselbeck, who had his best passing day of the season in a 34-19 loss to the Saints Nov. 21.
The Seahawks and Saints, who lost to Tampa Bay 23-13 on Sunday, met in Week 11 in New Orleans, and Drew Brees shredded Seattle, throwing four touchdown passes in a 34-19 victory.
In that game, Brees became the Saints’ all-time completions leader by connecting on 29 of 42 for 382 yards. His main targets were Marques Colston and Robert Meacham, both of whom caught two touchdown passes.
The Saints played that Week 11 game without the benefit of having Reggie Bush , Pierre Thomas and tight end Jeremy Shockey in the lineup. Yet Brees still managed to complete passes to 10 receivers, including rookie tight end Jimmy Graham , who made five catches for 72 yards.
Matt Hasselbeck had his best statistical game of 2010 against the Saints, completing 32 of 44 for 366 yards, the most allowed by New Orleans’ top-ranked passing defense all year. Hasselbeck connected with Mike Williams six times for 109 yards, including a 68-yarder to the Saints 10, which set up the game’s first points on a field goal. Hasselbeck hit Ben Obomanu five times for 87 yards, including one 42-yard gain and a short TD.
In qualifying to play the Saints, the Seahawks, who entered the game having lost seven of their previous nine games, became the first playoff team with a sub. 500 record by defeating the St. Louis Rams 16-6 in front of a national television audience Sunday night, the Seahawks (7-9) won the NFC West and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
Charlie Whitehurst got the start at quarterback in place of Hasselbeck against St. Louis and completed 22 of 36 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown without an interception. But coach Pete Carroll said Monday morning on his radio show on ESPN 710 radio that he planned to split the practice reps between the quarterbacks and let health determine who will start.
Whitehurst engineered a superb first drive of the game, completing all five of his passing attempts. His biggest completion went for 61 yards to Ruvell Martin, which set up his short TD pass to Mike Williams.
The Rams closed to 7-6 on a pair of Josh Brown field goals, then Mare gave Seattle a 10-6 lead in the third quarter with a 31-yard field goal. Another Mare field goal early in the fourth quarter made it 13-6. Mare nailed another field goal in the fourth quarter to make it a 16-6 final.
Raheem Brock led an inspired Seattle defense with 2.5 sacks.