Detroit Lions (10-6) @ New Orleans Saints (13-3)
(Saturday 8:00 pm ET, 5:00 pm PT)
This game are widely believe to be the most exciting game of the weekend. You have 2 of the top offenses and highest scoring teams in the league. They both play in domes, but New Orleans is undefeated at home, aka the Superdome, and that is where the game takes place Saturday night. We all know about the cinderella season Detroit is having, making the playoffs for the first time in years with a promising future. This young team is led by 5,000 yard quarterback Matthew Stafford and All-Pro “Megatron” receiver Calvin Johnson. They have a decent running game and a tough defensive line, led by Kyle Vanden Bosh and Ndamukong Suh. Detroit will certainly air it out and have to figure out a way to keep Megatron involved. Their defense will have to contain New Orleans, holding them to some field goals and not allowing touchdown after touchdown.
Drew Brees and the Superdome are tall tasks for any road team. The Saints have the league’s best offense, 1st in passing and 6th in rushing. They have 3 Pro Bowl offensive lineman, and multi-dimensional skill players. Darren Sproles led the league in total yards (combined rushing, receiving, kick & punt returning). They found a star in tight end Jimmy Graham. On the outside they have diamond in the rough receiver Marques Colston. The receiving core is rounded out with starter Robert Meachem, speed demon Devery Henderson, and slot receiver Lance Moore. If that isn’t enough weapons to worry about covering, their elite rushing attack is formed by committee: Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram (injured), and Christopher Ivory. This team can and will put up points, and the defense will be aided by a noisy and involved crowd.
I think New Orleans comes out running the football, and progressively pull away and pile it on. The Lions are a great story, but they haven’t been here before. The Saints are on a mission and it starts at home where they are 8-0 this season. Coach Sean Payton and MVP candidate Drew Brees are on another level and I expect them to blow this game open. Teams have found success by putting 2, even 3 players on Calvin Johnson and taking him out of the game entirely. I don’t believe the Lions have enough weapons offensively, and their front-4 is going against a Pro Bowl line that will give Brees ample time to exploit the rest of the defense, which is very mediocre.
Saints are marching in, 41-20.