Lions @ Saints: Wild Card Playoff Preview

Official NFL Release

SATURDAY, JANUARY 7, 2012

DETROIT LIONS-NFC NORTH (10-6) AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS-NFC SOUTH (13-3)

SERIES

LIONS

SAINTS

LEADER

11-9-1

STREAKS

6 of past 9

COACHES VS. OPP.

Schwartz: 0-2

Payton: 3-0

COACHES PLAYOFF RECORD

0-0

4-2

VS. COMMON OPP.

Det: 5-4 (Atl. 0-1; Car. 1-0; Chi. 1-1; GB 0-2; Min. 2-0; TB 1-0)

NO: 7-2 (Atl. 2-0; Car. 2-0; Chi. 1-0; GB 0-1; Min. 1-0; TB 1-1)

PLAYOFF RECORD

7-10

5-7

LAST WEEK

L 45-41 at Packers

W 45-17 vs. Panthers

LAST GAME

12/4/11: Lions 17 at Saints 31. New Orleans QB Drew Brees completes 26 of 36 passes (72.2 pct.) for 342 yards & 3 TDs as Saints establish 24-7 halftime lead in win.

LAST GAME AT SITE

12/4/11

LAST PLAYOFF

---

BROADCAST

NBC (7:00 PM CT): Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter). Westwood One Radio: Dave Sims, James Lofton, Hub Arkush (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 92 (Det.), 86 (NO). XM: 88 (WW1), 225 (Det.), 226 (NO).

STAT LEADERS

PASSING

Stafford: 421-663-5,038 (3L)-41 (3L)-16-97.2

Brees: 468-657-5,476 (1L)-46 (1L)-14-110.6 (2L)

RUSHING

Morris: 80-316-4.0-1

Sproles: 87-603-6.9-2

RECEIVING

Johnson: 96 (3C)-1,681 (1L)-17.5-16 (1C)

Graham (TE): 99 (3L)-1,310-13.2-11 (T3L)

OFFENSE

396.1

467.1 (1L)

TAKE/GIVE

+11 (3C)

-3

DEFENSE

367.6

368.4

SACKS

Avril: 11

Harper: 7.5

INTs

Houston: 5

P. Robinson: 4

PR

Logan: 8.1

Sproles: 10.1

KR

Logan: 25.2

Sproles: 27.2 (3L)

PUNTING

Graham: 43.8

Morstead: 48.3 (2C)

KICKING

Hanson: 126 (54/54 PAT; 24/29 FG)

Kasay: 147 (2L) (63/63 PAT; 28/34 FG)


NOTES

TEAMS MEET for 1st time in postseason. Clubs met in Week 13 (NO 31-17). NO leads all-time series 11-9-1.

LIONS: Make 1st playoff appearance since 1999. Won 3 games after trailing by 17+ points, most in season in NFL history. Scored 45+ points in 3 games, 1st time for Lions since 1952. Scored 474 points, most in season in club history. Offense had 6,337 total net yards, most in team history. Lions had 1 player selected to Pro Bowl: WR CALVIN JOHNSON (2nd)...QB MATTHEW STAFFORD set team passing records with 5,038 yards & 41 TDs, 1 of 3 seasons by QB in NFL history with 5,000+ yards & 40+ TDs. Is 2nd youngest QB in NFL history to pass for 4,000+ yards & 30+ TDs in season (HOFer DAN MARINO). Set club records for attempts (663), completions (421), comp. pct. (63.5) & passer rating (97.2)...RB KEVIN SMITH has 2,427 scrimmage yards (83.7 per game) in 29 career starts...WR Johnson led NFL with 1,681 rec. yards, 2nd highest mark in franchise history (HERMAN MOORE, 1,686). Led NFC with 16 rec. TDs & passed CLOYCE BOX (15 in 1952) for club's single-season record. Only Lion with 1,500+ rec. yards & 15+ rec. TDs in season. Is 4th Lion & 1st since HOFer BARRY SANDERS (1991) to score 15+ TDs in season. Joined HOFers LANCE ALWORTH & JERRY RICE as only players with 12+ rec. TDs in 3 of 1st 5 seasons. Since start of 2008, has 45 TD catches, most in NFL. Is 1st Lions WR with 1,000+ rec. yards in 3 of 1st 5 seasons. TE BRANDON PETTIGREW had 83 catches, most by TE in team history. Is only TE in club annals to record 70+ catches in 2 seasons. WR NATE BURLESON had career-high 73 catches for 757 yards, his 5th career season with 50+ catches & 600+ yards. WR TITUS YOUNG was 2nd among NFC rookies with 6 rec. TDs. T JEFF BACKUS has started 176 consecutive games, longest among active offensive lineman & passed HOFer DICK LE BEAU (171) for most consecutive starts by Lion...DE CLIFF AVRIL led team with 11 sacks. Became 6th player in NFL history & only Lion with 10+ sacks, FR-TD & INT-TD in same season. Led NFC with 6 FFs. LB STEPHEN TULLOCH led team with 111 tackles. Since start of 2010, DT NDAMUKONG SUH has 14 sacks, 2nd most in NFL among DTs. CB CHRIS HOUSTON tied for NFL lead with 2 INT-TDs. Led team with career-high 5 INTs. DE KYLE VANDEN BOSCH had 8 sacks & 4 FFs, his 3rd career season with 8+ sacks & 4+ FFs...K JASON HANSON is 1st player in NFL history to score 2,000 points with 1 franchise (2,016 points). Is only player all-time with 50+ 50-yard FGs (50).

SAINTS: Have won 8 in row. Tied club record with 13 wins, equaling mark set by 2009 team that won SB XLIV. Had 8-0 home record for 1st time in club history. Set NFL record with 7,474 total net yards & 5,347 net pass yards. Team has qualified for postseason in 4 of 6 seasons under head coach SEAN PAYTON. Payton has 4-2 (.667) playoff record. Saints aim for 5th postseason game in row with 30+ points. Club had 5 players selected to Pro Bowl: QB DREW BREES (6th), T JERMON BUSHROD (1st), G JAHRI EVANS (3rd), TE JIMMY GRAHAM (1st) & G CARL NICKS (2nd)...QB Brees had NFL single-season record 5,476 pass yards. Had 13 300-yard pass games, most in season, incl. 7 in row, longest streak all-time. Set single-season records for comp. (468) & comp. pct. (71.2). Has 20+ comp. in NFL-record 36 reg. season games in row. Has TD pass in 43 consecutive reg. season games, 2nd-longest streak in NFL history. In postseason career, has completed 189 of 285 (66.3 pct.) for 2,052 yards with 15 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 102 rating. His 102 rating ranks 4th all-time & his 66.3 comp. pct. is 3rd (min. 150 att.). Has 0.70 INT pct. (2 INTs, 285 att.) in playoffs, best mark in NFL postseason history (min. 150 att.)...RB-PR-KR DARREN SPROLES is 1st player in NFL history with 1,300+ scrimmage yards (1,313) & 1,300+ KR-PR yards (1,383). Had NFL-record 2,696 all-purpose yards. Had 328 combined net yards (106 KR, 105 rush, 72 PR, 45 rec.) in 2008 WC (1/3/09 with SD), 3rd highest single-game total in NFL postseason history. RB PIERRE THOMAS has 3 TDs in past 2 in playoffs...TE Graham led NFL TEs with 99 receptions & was 2nd with 1,310 yards, 2nd most by TE all-time. Is 1st TE in NFL history with 95+ catches, 1,200+ yards & 10+ TDs in season. Graham (99) & Sproles (86) are 1st TE-RB duo in NFL history with 80+ catches each. WR MARQUES COLSTON had 1,143 rec. yards, his team-record 5th 1,000-yard season. Is all-time Saints postseason leader with 29 catches & 372 yards. WR DEVERY HENDERSON has TD in 3 of past 4 playoff games. WR LANCE MOORE had 50+ catches (52), 600+ rec. yards (627) & 8+ rec. TDs (8) for 3rd time in past 4 years...Since entering NFL in 2006, S ROMAN HARPER has 17 sacks, most by DB. Led team with 7.5 sacks, 2nd most all-time by DB in season. CB TRACY PORTER has 2 playoff INTs, tied for most by Saint. Had 74-yard INT-TD in SB XLIV. LB SCOTT SHANLE ties for 3rd in team history with 2 postseason sacks. LB JONATHAN VILMA is only Saint with INT, FF & FR in playoff game (1/24/10, NFC Champ).

For the first time in NFL history, a playoff game will feature two 5,000-yard passers - New Orleans' DREW BREES (NFL-record 5,476) and Detroit's MATTHEW STAFFORD(5,038). The duo's combined passing yardage total of 10,514 yards is the most ever for opposing starting QBs in a playoff game, and will surpass the mark of 8,888 set byPEYTON MANNING (4,500) and Brees (4,388) in Super Bowl XLIV.

Detroit is back in the playoffs for the first time since 1999. The Lions scored a team-record 474 points and gained 6,337 total net yards, the most in franchise history. Stafford set multiple team passing records, including yards (5,038), touchdowns (41) and passer rating (97.2). Detroit wide receiver CALVIN JOHNSON, who was selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl, led the NFL with 1,681 receiving yards and had a team-record 16 touchdown receptions. Johnson is the first Lion since Pro Football Hall of Famer BARRY SANDERS (1991) to score 15 TDs in a season.

"The regular season is over and it's the postseason now so our full attention is on the Saints," says Lions head coach JIM SCHWARTZ. "The playoffs are about advancing and doing whatever you have to do each week to advance."

New Orleans has won eight in a row and the club has advanced to the postseason for the fourth time in six seasons under head coach SEAN PAYTON. The Saints, who had five players named to the Pro Bowl, had an NFL-record 7,474 total net yards and 5,347 net passing yards. Brees set numerous league single-season marks, among them passing yards (5,476), 300-yard games (13), consecutive 300-yard games (seven), completions (468) and completion percentage (71.2). Running back DARREN SPROLES had an NFL-record 2,696 all-purpose yards and became the first player in league history to record at least 1,300 scrimmage yards (1,313) and 1,300 kick-return yards (1,383) in a season.

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