Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints Predictions & Analysis 1/7/12

Last Updated: January 7th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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In what could be one of the most entertaining games in the first round of the playoffs, the Detroit Lions will take on the New Orleans Saints. We’re set to make our NFL predictions for the big time duel on Saturday night in the playoffs.

NFL Playoffs Matchup: Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints
Lions vs. Saints Location: Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Lions vs. Saints Date/Time: Saturday, January 7th, 8:00 p.m.
Lions vs. Saints Television Coverage: NBC

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2012 NFL Playoff Bracket And Other NFL Playoff Previews

Key #1: Detroit absolutely cannot beat itself
The first time that these two teams played this year, the penalties mounted in almost ridiculous fashion against the Lions. WR Nate Burleson was flagged three times for offensive pass interference, and there were three personal fouls that went against Detroit, some of which proved to kill drives on offense or extend drives on defense. In total the team committed 11 penalties for 107 yards. It is hard enough to try to beat the Saints on the road, a place where they seemingly never lose. You absolutely cannot give up a football field’s worth of penalty yardage against them and expect to win. If Detroit lets its emotions get the best of it in this game, it will be absolutely blown away and made to wonder what could have been had it been a more disciplined team this entire season.

Lions @ Saints Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Detroit Lions +11
New Orleans Saints -11
Over/Under 59
Click Here to Bet Your NFL playoffs Picks!

Key #2: Someone on the Detroit defense has to be spying Darren Sproles at all times
Sproles actually didn’t have that much of an impact on the game that these two played a month ago, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have the ability to kill the Lions. At just 5’6”, Sproles has a way of going unnoticed out of the backfield, and his blazing speed and uncanny ability to make tacklers miss in the open field is why he is so dangerous. Head Coach Sean Payton will use him between the tackles at times, as he did have 81 carries for 563 yards on the ground this year. However, Sproles also had 81 receptions for 681 yards and six scores, and he had a grand total of 1,287 yards as a return man between kicks and puns to go with a TD. In the end, he broke the record for most all-purpose yards in a season. We’ve seen Sproles do some amazing things in the past, and someone has to be keeping an eye on him at all times, or he will absolutely be the killer in this game.


Key #3: Matt Stafford has to outduel Drew Brees
Brees and the Saints were nuts this year. Not only did Brees reach the 40,000 yard mark for his career, but he became the first man to throw for 5,000 yards twice in seasons in a career, and he obliterated Dan Marino’s record for the most passing yards in a season. He has six receiving options that can all go off for over 100 yards in a game, and he throws for multiple touchdown seemingly every week. In total, he had 46 TDs this year. However, the Lions are still craving some respect, and this would be the way to get it. Stafford stayed healthy for the full 16 games for really the first time in his career, and he became the fourth different man to throw for 5,000+ yards in a season this year as well. WR Calvin Johnson had some amazing games this season, including picking up over 200 receiving yards in two of his last three games, but Burleson, WR Titus Young, and TE Brandon Pettigrew can’t be forgotten either. Detroit is good enough to shoot it out with the Saints, and without any sort of a running game to rely on, it doesn’t really have a chance of winning this one if it doesn’t.

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Posted in NFL Football - Last Updated on Saturday, January 7th, 2012 @ 10:15 am (EST)
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