Records are made to be broken. The New Orleans Saints seem to be making that they personal motto for this season. They are looking as strong and as confident as one could wish and with this unprecedented run, they are looking more determined and focused than the 2009 squad that won the first ever Super Bowl for the franchise. And the best ingredients of that recipe for success are still here. It all comes down to Drew Brees and his extraordinary game and to Sean Peyton, a head coach that has managed to go all out and take risks in order to make every win, a very significant and boosting one.
New Orleans broke the postseason mark for total yards with 626, beating the record set 49 years ago. Brees lead an almost flawless offensive throwing for 466 yards, including two 40+ yards completions, in 33 of 43 passing, for three touchdowns and no interceptions. Just to get the record straight, that’s the most yards ever in a regulation time playoffs match.
The Saints offense, as it has usually been the case this season, chipped in plenty not only to pull a 28-45 win at the Superdome, but to prove that it was not a lucky shot that this offense set an NFL record for yards from scrimmage this season (7,474). And again, just to put this into perspective, consider that the Saints outgained the Detroit Lions on the ground 167 yards to 32.
Matthew Stafford threw for 380 yards and three TDs for the Lions. It would had been a good game for him, had he not also thrown 2 interceptions. But despite holding on tight during the first two quarters of the game, the New Orleans Saints simply blew the Lions defense apart in the second half.
Some out there have criticized the Saints coach, Sean Peyton, for taking too much risks and not knowing when to slow things down and rest his starters. Some of his detractors have insinuated that with this tendency, he is just looking at the smaller picture, rather than focusing on winning another title. On the press conference after the game, Peyton even took the time to say this: “We just focus on winning. We’re not focused on yards and records and I’m serious when I say that.”
The Lions put on a decent figth. All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson had 12 receptions for 211 yards and two touchdowns to take the best of the Lions highlight reel. This is quite a good mark considering that this is his playoff debut with Detroit. But despite his efforts it was too little and too late to hold off the Saints who not only were brilliant in attack. As a matter of fact, the Saints’ defense ended the game in tthe fourth quarter with two decisive interceptions by Jabari Greer.
Now the Saints will travel to San Francisco to face the 13-3 49ers in the second round matchup. As of press time the Saints are a -3 ½ point favorite on the spread for this game. The 49ers will take on the field at 4:30pm ET on Saturday January 14th.