We could be in for a good old fashioned shootout in the Bayou on Saturday, as the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions try to beat the NFL playoff odds in their second battle of the season at the Louisiana Superdome.
Year To Date Record: 59-61 ATS
Upset Record: 18-35, -$930
Wild Card NFL Matchup: Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints
Date: Saturday, January 7th, 8:00 ET
Location: Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA
NFL Wild Card Lines: New Orleans -11
Wild Card NFL TV Schedule: NBC
Lions Notes: The Lions have officially returned from over a dozen years of hibernation. They haven’t played in a playoff game since 1999, and they haven’t won one since 1991, and they have a chance on Saturday to make a huge statement by beating the team that many think is the only one that has a shot of challenging the Green Bay Packers in the NFC. The year ended on a bit of a sour note, as Detroit wasn’t nearly as good down the stretch as it was at the start of the season, but the schedule got a heck of a lot tougher, and it showed. That being said, QB Matt Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson were both ridiculously good this year. Stafford threw for just over 5,000 yards, and though he finished third in the league in that category, he is only the fourth quarterback in the history of the league to throw for 5,000 yards in a single season. “Megatron” had over 1,600 receiving yards, including over 550 in his final three games of the season. He has proven that he is one of the most dangerous receivers in the league, and if the Saints aren’t careful, he could be the difference maker in this game no matter how many guys are responsible for guarding him. Detroit just has to avoid beating itself with dumb penalties. The team committed oodles of personal fouls all season long, especially when the going got tough, and in the first meeting of these two teams, there were 11 penalties for 107 yards, far too many to beat a team with an offense that is this good.
Saints Notes: Last year was a brutal one for the Saints, as they just missed out on the AFC South title and ended up having to go on the road in the playoffs. They were 11 point favorites against the Seattle Seahawks on the road, and just like they year, they were just expected to blow the inferior team out of the water, but instead, they were beaten outright and were considered the dud of the postseason. Now, QB Drew Brees and the gang are back, and they may even be better than they were when they won the Super Bowl two years ago. The key addition was that of RB Darren Sproles. Sproles broke the record for most all-purpose yards in a single season in league history, and he and TE Jimmy Graham were really the reasons that Brees threw for over 5,400 yards to smash the league record for most yards in a season Graham won’t go into the record books for his season, but he came up just shy of setting basically every single season tight end record this year. If there is a problem for Brees and the offense, it is that RB Mark Ingram won’t play in this one, and in all likelihood, neither will WR Lance Moore nor WR Devery Henderson.
The Final Word: We’ve done a lot of speaking about these two offense, but we have to look back at the first meeting of the year between these two teams. Sure, Detroit left a lot of points on the board, but it also gave up 31 points without DT Ndamukong Suh in the fold. Suh is back from his suspension, and he is surely going to wreak havoc in this game. Though there is no doubt that both of these teams will put some points on the board, there were only 48 that were scored the first time these two played. There’s no reason to think that they will combine for many more than that in this one. Remember that the ‘under’ has gone 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in this series.
Wild Card NFL Pick: Detroit/New Orleans Under 59
NFL Football Prediction: New Orleans 31 – Detroit 24