Lions vs. Saints: Drew Brees Will Keep Saints Rolling over Detroit

Jeff Chase@@Real_Jeff_ChaseSenior Analyst IIJanuary 6, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints looks to throw a pass during the game against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

When the Detroit Lions make their trip to New Orleans to take on the Saints in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs, they better be prepared because Drew Brees and this high-powered offense doesn't look like they can be stopped.

The Lions have one of the best front fours in the entire NFL, but it hasn't faced a team like the Saints that have so many different ways to attack them. The Lions played against the Green Bay Packers twice this season, a team that is known for their attack through the air.

In both games, the Lions allowed the Packers to throw for over 300 yards, including a 480-yard performance in Week 17 by backup quarterback Matt Flynn.

What makes them think that they will be able to stop Brees, who is averaging 334.2 yards per game? Not only that, he has thrown 46 touchdown passes this year while throwing for 5,461 yards.

Wide receiver Marques Colston has also been on a tear this season. He has been just as unstoppable as Calvin Johnson or Greg Jennings. The Lions will definitely have a hard time in slowing him down, especially if he is being hit deep.

What the Saints have that teams like the Packers didn't is a run game.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01:  Darren Sproles #43 of the New Orleans Saints tries to avoid a tackle by Jordan Senn #57 of the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Im
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Between Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas, the Saints have two guys who are able to slip through the opposing linemen and find a way to move the ball. They will have a hard time getting past the Lions, but they proven they can put up the yards on opposing teams.

Their running game averages 132.9 yards per game on the ground, which ranks them as the sixth best in the NFL. This ability to move the ball on the ground and through the air will give the Lions a hard time in stopping their attack.

You can't ignore what quarterback Matthew Stafford has done this season, but experience will trump his season in which he finally proved to be a No. 1 overall draft pick. The play of wide receiver Calvin Johnson is equally as impressive, but the lack of a run game is going to ruin their chances at the Superdome.

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 01:  Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions drops back to pass against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 1, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 45-41.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Imag
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Saints have one of the worst pass defenses in the league, allowing 259.8 yards per game. Unfortunately for the Lions, they seem to have picked things up at the right time.

Against the Carolina Panthers in Week 17, the Saints held rookie quarterback Cam Newton to just 158 yards, while shutting down their running game.

The reason that carries the most truth is the result of when the Lions visited the Saints back in Week 13. While they did allow Stafford to throw for 408 yards, they held him in check by only allowing him to toss one TD pass. In the meantime, Brees threw for 348 yards while completing three scores.

It is also important to note that the Saints didn't drop one game at home all season. When at home, the Saints only allow their opponents to score 17.9 PPG. In the meantime, their offense has put up 41.1 PPG. 

There is no denying what home field advantage means to Brees and the Saints. Their experience will also be important, as the Lions haven't been in the playoffs since 1999. 

The Lions and their fans are excited about this return to the NFL postseason, but unfortunately their celebrations will be cut short. Brees has this offense churning all gears, and there is no way that he is going to allow the Lions to come in and take a game on their home turf.


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