Saturday, January 7, 2012

Playoff Recap: Lions/Saints

This game figures to be an entirely different style than the Bengals/Texans game.  I'm anticipating much more offensive fireworks (as is everyone, I'd bet).  To me, the real question is whether the Lions' offense can match that of the Saints.  I am not convinced that they can't, but I'm also no sure that they will.  The one thing I am sure of is that Al Michaels dyes his hair.  He was born in 1944, and he doesn't have a little salt to go with his pepper.  C'mon Man!

1. FAITH HILL!!!  Good start to this one!

2.  Both offenses seem to be clicking so far, although one made an error that if repeated will be fatal.  I have to believe that the Saints defense will come up with a big play sometime in the game to settle the score for the fumble on their offense's first drive, but as of now, if you'r the Lions, you have to be happy.  If Detroit can move effortlessly down the field for another touchdown here on their second drive, they can take the crowd out of it.  If however, the Saints want to prevent that, they may want to cover Megatron.

3.  Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.  That's now two fumbles for the Saints.  I don't care how good a team is...If they can't hold onto the ball, they will not win playoff football.  That said, I'd love to know why the whistle blew, and Detroit wasn't allowed to run that ball back.  It sounds like it was a premature whistle as though the pass was incomplete before being ruled a fumble.  However, the whistle blowing is a terrible break for Detroit, as this could be a 21-7 lead right now.

4.  I must say, there has been quite a bit less scoring than I anticipated.  It will be interesting to see how the second half goes.  For reference though, the same number of points were scored in the first half of each wildcard game today (27).

5.  The Saints just got a gift first down.  Couple that with the TD that was stolen from them by a bad whistle, and there's some absurd home cookin' going on in the dome.  Detroit should have a four point lead and the ball now, but instead, they're down three, and the Saints are driving.  I hate it when refs determine the game rather than the players and coaches.

6.  Another bad ref call that the announcers missed:  The Drew Brees fourth down converstion on the sneak was mis-spotted pretty terribly.  I'm not denying that Drew reached across the line for the first down, but I am troubled by the fact that the refs gave him the spot he reached to when after extending, he himself brought the ball back to his body.  He is NOT entitled to forward progress if he himself brings the ball back.  That makes two gift first downs on this drive from the refs, and the result is a touchdown.  What's the point of the Lions' defense taking the field when the refs are going to give the Saints things they don't earn anyway?

7.  Calvin Johnson is the one Matt Millen got right.  For all the flack he gets (and he deserves all of it), he deserves a little credit for that pick.  Although, one has to wonder how Megatron would be doing if Millen had been there to pass on Stafford in deference to a WR.

8.  Detroit is shooting itself in the foot by being unable to take anybody down with the first tackle.  It seems like the runners only go down on third contact.  That's not any way to get off the field to give Stafford and the offense the ball.

9.  Sproles is a shifty little bugger.  He's definitely on the righ team because Sean Payton knows how to build schemes to fit his players' strengths.  He's created a little mismatch monster out of his diminuative running back.

10.  The Jabari Greer pick ought to ice this one.  (Update:  If the pick didn't, the wide open Meachem touchdown did.)


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