Brees and Wilson focus of Saints' trip to Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) — In two seasons, Russell Wilson has made winning in Seattle impenetrable for opposing teams.

Since the day he became the Seattle Seahawks

quarterback, Wilson has never lost on his home field. That's 13

straight in the

regular season. Going back even further, Wilson hasn't lost a home

game since Oct. 2, 2010 when he was at North Carolina State

and the Wolfpack lost to Virginia Tech. It's a streak of 23 games

since Wilson has walked off his home field with a loss.

That string as Seahawks quarterback will get tested this week by one of Wilson's idols, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees.

"There is no place like home. Playing here is a special moment," Wilson said. "It is one of those things that is a once in

a lifetime thing you have to make sure you go to CenturyLink and watch a game. It really is something special."

Monday night is a rousing late-season matchup between the top two teams in the NFC when the 9-2 Saints visit the 10-1 Seahawks.

It's a marquee prime-time showcase that could be an NFC championship game preview and eventually might determine who earns

home-field advantage in the conference playoffs.

The home-field fight is one of many subplots:

• The teams are facing each other for the first time since the 2010 NFC divisional playoffs, when the Seahawks ended New Orleans'

reign as Super Bowl champs with a surprising 41-36 upset capped by Marshawn Lynch's stunning tackle-shedding touchdown run

in the fourth quarter.

• There's the Seahawks turmoil of the past

week with the four-game suspension of starting cornerback Walter

Thurmond for violation

of the league's substance-abuse policy, and the potential

suspension of injured cornerback Brandon Browner.

• And there's the Saints still seeking a validating road victory after losing at New England and the New York Jets earlier

in the season.

But the most intriguing aspect is a pair of quarterbacks working successfully to break long-held stereotypes about the position

they play: that they are too short.

"I followed him a lot. I watched him in his college career and I remember my dad telling me I have to watch this guy, this

guy is awesome," Wilson said. " ... I know everyone compares our heights and everything, the thing that I admire about him

is his leadership, attention to detail, (and) competitive nature.

When Brees was slinging passes at Purdue,

Wilson was watching. When Brees was drafted by San Diego, Wilson was

studying. And

when Brees went to New Orleans and led the Saints to a Super Bowl

title, Wilson was breaking down film and looking for tips

to add to his game.

Wilson often gets compared to Fran Tarkenton for his ability to scramble and keep plays alive. But if there is a player he

emulates, it's Brees. He was such a Brees fan, Wilson often wore a Saints hat around the Wisconsin campus during his final

year of college football.

"Listen, there's plenty of things that that guy can do that I could never dream of doing athletically," Brees said. "You watch

the way he plays, you see the intensity and focus which he plays with, and he's won a lot of big games in his early career

thus far. I love what he has overcome throughout his career and kind of the road he has traveled. Like I said, I couldn't

have more respect for the guy."

Despite his admiration, Wilson never got a

chance to meet Brees until last year's Pro Bowl, where there were long

conversations.

The elder QB passed on tips and suggestions on succeeding in the

NFL as a shorter quarterback. It was time Wilson valued and

was the beginning of a friendship.

"It wasn't like we were sitting there

comparing notes about being 6-foot and under," Brees said. "I don't

know. We might've

talked about just the fact that you have to see through windows

and anticipate. The other senses kind of have to be heightened.

If you lack vision at times or whatever, you've got to be able to

do other things to make up for that."

They might share similar traits, but their

roles within the respective offenses they lead are dramatically

different. Brees

is the engine, entering Monday's game second in the league in

yards passing and touchdown passes, trailing only Peyton Manning

in those categories. He's completed more passes (300) than Wilson

has attempted (275).

Therein lies the biggest difference. While

the Saints' offensive success is largely determined by how well Brees

plays, the

Seahawks remain predicated on being able to run first. They ask

Wilson to be the point guard for their offense. Brees has

attempted at least 33 passes in every game this season; Wilson has

attempted more than 30 passes only seven times in his career.

Different styles, different quarterbacks, similar results.

"I think that our league is seeing very good

production, very good play makers with different builds and different

skill sets,"

Saints coach Sean Payton said. "I think it still gets back to that

person that's very driven, that's very competitive (and)

smart."