Kirwan: Lions-Saints breakdown
Lions at Saints
Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Kirwan: Lions-Saints breakdown
Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford boast video game numbers, but who'll prevail on Saturday? Pat Kirwan examines. More ...
The Lions enter this weekend's wild-card round as the feel-good story trying to embark on a civic-saving journey -- like the Saints did for New Orleans just a couple seasons ago. But Detroit immediately encounters the unenviable task of slowing down the league's hottest team.
New Orleans knocked off Detroit 31-17 in Week 13, but the game was much closer than the final score indicated. The Saints contained Calvin Johnson in that game, and they'll look to keep him out of the end zone once again, or at least minimize his scores.
Saints' corners Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter don't get enough credit for not only being solid cover men but also being fearless. To keep New Orleans' defense honest, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford will need to lean on tight end Brandon Pettigrew and wideouts Nate Burleson and Titus Young -- since those players will be frequently singled up.
The issue for Detroit is slowing down the Saints. The Lions were scorched by Green Bay's backups last week. Although their pride will bring about a better showing, New Orleans is more diverse. The Saints offer a much better running game, and tight end Jimmy Graham draws so much attention it frees up outside threats like Marques Colston, who is killing it right now.
And we can't forget about one of the toughest matchups in the NFL: Darren Sproles. No one has figured out a way to limit his impact thus far -- and neither will the Lions.
I like Pat Kirwan, even when he picks against us.
His reasoning is usually sound.
He doesn't worry that some ding-dong will call him out if the team he picks loses.
He objectively does his job.
I agree, it's a fair assessment of the matchup . . . I don't like the "feel-good story, civic-saving journey" sentiment he adds in there . . . it's not football, I'm kind of generally an unsympathetic ******* and that's not really how Detroiters view it . . . what we have going on is in no way comparable to what the Saints meant to post-Katrina New Orleans . . . and I say that as more of giving props to the Saints then dissing this guy.
For the sake of conversation, yeah, I suppose it's an "unenviable" task having to face the Saints, but it's indoors, the Big Easy and we've met before . . . could be worse.
Yeah, you held Calvin to 68yds, pretty commendable . . . Burleson caught for 98yds, even with three offensive interference calls on him . . . cover Calvin, all the good teams do . . . Young & Burleson will pick up the slack, Pettigrew is holding onto the ball these days and Scheffler is no slouch . . . we got weapons.
The issue for everybody is slowing down the Saints, not just Detroit . . . it's just our turn. I like our chances, not chippy, just pleasantly optimistic. We didn't get scorched by the backups, they sat 4 key players and it was cold outside, ok? Can we move on? It was a learning experience . . .
More diverse? Absolutely, how 'bout this? "A more complete team" . . . you guys like that? That's how I see it, GBs defense is Woodson free-lancing and their offense is Rodgers . . . well, and maybe Flynn, hehe. The Saints 'D' reminds me of the old Dolphins "No-Name" defense in that you may not have the superstars like a Woodson or Matthews, but you have good, solid guys all around. Your offense is more diverse just by the fact you do have a more effective running game then GB . . . I wish the Lions had a guy like Sproles, plus he returns kicks . . . what's not to like? Did Bush return kicks? IDK, couldn't get his big-booty girlfriend to the games, so I can't imagine he was returning kicks either . . . just sayin'.
Jimmy Graham in the redzone, I don't like it for the Lions, he's a threat, but the short passing game will give us more fits then anything . . .
Back to the running game . . . our answer to Sproles would have to be Nick Fairley, that's what he's there for, to be the fat guy-run stopper clogging up the middle . . . Suh is our big/fast - get the 'push'/collapse the pocket guy . . . it works on paper . . .
"-- and neither will the Lions" . . . da-dum . . . what kind of way is that to end an article? I feel like someone just threw a shovelful of dirt on my grave . . . I don't hear Kate Smith singing in the background . . .
If this game was in Detroit I would be a little more worried. You do match up well offensively and have a dam good DL. I think the domefield advantage will be the difference. Overall yall played a decent game last time except for the stupid penalties. Drew was off target to start the game last time but then found his rhythm. Right now Drew is locked in. If he comes out on fire it could be a long night for the Lions.
We're going to know in the first couple series wether it's going to be a game or not . . . the Lions need to come out fast and have a perfect game like they had against San Diego to stay in this one . . . if not, I fear it may be a blowout with the way you guys have been playing.
You guys have Stafford and some very good receivers. Mega is excellent. I think everyone knows this is going to be a tough re-match for both teams.
I think your defense is going to give us A LOT MORE trouble than they did last time around. But, our defense has been improving in the last 5 games of the season. And, this is the playoffs.
But, I give us the edge because: a) I am a WHO DAT, 2) we have two strategic game masters in Sean Payton and Gregg Williams who SERIOUSLY know what they have, this year, in this team, c) finally, there's Drew Brees and his arsenal.
I'm expecting a competitive game. But, I could be wrong (in a good way!).
As long as we protect the ball and our D plays well, I don't think it's going to be close. If we start fast the Lions will have to keep up with the pass and our secondary want make the same mistakes they did in the first game, they missed assignments and left the middle too open, I think we will correct this and make Stafford pay. Even if we start slow I think we will find a way to pull ahead and build a good lead. The prevent D last game let the Lions back in it, I don't think Williams will do that again.
Saints vs. Falcons W
Saints vs. Patriots W
Saints vs. Cowboys L
Saints vs. Vikings W
Saints @ 49ers W
Saints vs. Steelers W
Saints @ Cowboys W
Saints @ Falcons W
Saints @ Packers L
Saints vs. Colts W
Saints vs. Giants W
That's 9-2 since 2009
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