January 1, 2012

Saints #3 Seed; To Host Detroit in Wildcard Playoffs

The 13-3 Saints are the #3 seed in the NFC and will host a wildcard playoff game next weekend.

New Orleans will host the Detroit Lions on the night of Saturday, January 7 at 7pm.  NBC will televise the game.

After their huge win over the Panthers, the Saints waited for the outcome of the 49ers-Rams and Packers-Lions games.  The 49ers won as expected in St. Louis and clinched the #2 seed and the bye week, giving the Saints the #3 seed.

But the Packers, with nothing to play for and starting former LSU QB Matt Flynn instead of Aaron Rodgers, rallied to win at home against Detroit.  Flynn finished with 480 yards passing and six touchdowns, and may send Detroit to the Saints instead of the Falcons.

The Falcons put in backup QB Chris Redman in with two minutes left in the first half, up 42-0 over the disastrous Tampa Bay Bucs.  The Falcons needed to win and have the Lions lose to clinch the #5 seed and send themselves to play the winner of the Cowboys/Giants game, instead of a wildcard rematch in New Orleans.

It will be the second straight year the Saints face a rematch in the playoffs, but last year that didn't work out well. After punishing, and perhaps running up the score, against the Seahawks in the regular season last year, the Saints lost to a fired-up Seahawks team in Seattle in the wildcard playoff round.

UPDATED: The Falcons did win, sealing the #5 seed, and the time of the game has been officially announced.

The Saints-Lions rematch could prove to be another shootout, with both defenses ranking poorly in pass defense.  Lions QB Matthew Stafford, stinging from a Pro Bowl snub, tossed 36/59 for 520 yards and five touchdowns.  WR Calvin Johnson had 11 catches for 244 yards and a score in that shootout.

NOPF News Archive