2012 Wild Card Preview: Detroit vs. New Orleans

This is the second of four posts this week examining the Wild Card matchups in the NFL Playoffs. Check back during the next few days for more previews:

The New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions open up the NFC Wild Card games on Saturday at 8 ET on NBC in New Orleans. The Saints haven’t lost since week eight and has won by more than 20 points in its past three games. The Lions have won three of their last four, but gave up 45 points in a loss to the Green Bay Packers Sunday in a game that Aaron Rodgers didn’t play. In their one meeting this year, New Orleans defeated Detroit 31- 17 behind 342 yards and three touchdowns from Drew Brees. Here’s a look at the matchup:

Offense: For New Orleans, this is all about Drew Brees, who sent an NFL record with 5476 passing yards in the season and is neck and neck with Aaron Rodgers for the MVP award. While running back Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas combined to rush for just 1165 yards, they averaged nearly six yards a rush. Brees moved the ball around to his receivers, with Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston his favorite targets.

Detroit’s Matthew Stafford wasn’t too shabby either, throwing for more than 5000 yards as well and 41 touchdowns. Stafford looked to wide receiver Calvin Johnson the most as the two connected on 96 passes for 1681 yards and 16 touchdowns. On the ground, the Lions weren’t as effective as running backs Jahvid Best and Kevin Smith combined for just 746 yards, less than four yards a carry. Continue reading “2012 Wild Card Preview: Detroit vs. New Orleans”

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2007 NFC Preview

Here is the NFC:

East

  1. Philadelphia Eagles
  2. Dallas Cowboys
  3. New York Giants
  4. Washington Redskins

The Eagles will have Donovan McNabb back for their season opener, anmcnabb.jpgd still have Brian Westbrook at running back. The receiving core is solid, making the Eagles a constant threat on offense. Defensively, the secondary is also solid, but their 2006 run defense was horrible. A new linebacker core including Takeo Spikes should make the Eagles greatly improved in that aspect of the ball. This team is completely capable of a Super Bowl run. The Cowboys are returning an excellent offense with Tony Romo at QB Julius Jones and Marion Barber at running back, and Terrell Owens receiving. The Cowboys’ biggest weakness was their defense, and they are slightly improved this year in that category. With Bill Parcells no longer coaching, the player seem to be more confident, especially defensively where players were living in constant fear of failing Parcells. Unlike the Eagles and Cowboys, the Giants seem to be on their way down as Tiki Barber’s retirement leaves Tom Coughlin with no legitimate running back. That means the bulk of the offense will be on the shoulders of Eli Manning. Even if Manning has a breakout year, it still may not be enough without any kind of a running game. Defensively, the Giants are mediocre and did very little to improve over the off-season. Michael Strahan’s holdout did not help the team focus during camp either. This team has a possibility to be good, but it is much more likely that one thing will go wrong, distract the rest of the team, and then destroy the season. The Redskins have no real Quarterback, a depleted running game, and had the league’s worse defense last year. The offense will surely struggle, but the defense is more important to the Redskins. They completely changed their starters and brought in a bunch of new faces to try to reinvent their defense. The Redskins show very little promise and will not win many games until they can find a franchise quarterback and young defense. Continue reading “2007 NFC Preview”