If you had told me before the game that the Saints would turn the ball over two times in the first half and Calvin Johnson would have 12 catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns, I would have assumed the Lions were going to come away with the upset.
But that wasn't the result, as the Saints instead came away with a convincing 45-28 win over the Lions in their Wild Card matchup Saturday night, despite two early fumbles and a complete inability to cover Megatron. The game remained close through the first three quarters of play until Drew Brees (33/43, 466 yards, 3 TDs) and the offense opened it up and kicked it into yet another gear, scoring 21 points in the final quarter on their way to a record-breaking output of 626 yards.
Because this is the 2011-12 Saints we're talking about here. The Record Breakers. A team that is, plain and simple, just too damn good to lose and can't keep themselves from kicking so much ass. This all probably comes off as cocky but it's difficult to sound modest when talking about this year's Saints. They're blowing out opponents like a gamer playing Madden 12 in Rookie Mode.
Let's face it, If you're a member of Who Dat Nation, there's just no possible way you could have scripted the story any better thus far. Breesing through the season, picking up wins with all types of record-breaking performances, yet still staying humble thanks to a loss to the Rams. Meanwhile the Packers play the evil ring leader, who won the first matchup between two teams and looms in the background awaiting the final re-match fight scene. Soak it all up, because this is epic Hollywood stuff right here. I can't wait to watch NFL Network's America's Game on this 2011 Saints.
So who's next? Who wants some of this?
Didn't think so.
[sings] If you're going, to San Francisco...
- My friend and I parked right near the LSU nursing school. Looked like they were setting up for a big BCS game tailgate party.
- We got down to the stadium early and hung out in Champions Square. Checked out a Cowboy Mouth set followed by some cover band called Karma.
- Beers are actually reasonably priced at $5 in Champions Square. I though that was surprisingly low.
- When it's 70 degrees in the middle of January, it's hard not to love living in New Orleans. It's even harder when our football teams are so damn good.
- Bryan Batt, a local New Orleans store owner and actor on Mad Men sang the National Anthem.
- Carl Nicks led the pre-game Who Dat chant.
- Heath Evans and Darren Sharper were both on the sideline for the Saints, probably just trying to get a contact high.
- Spike Lee was sitting in the first row, about three sections over from me. He didn't have a cup holder or access to the Bunker Club.
- Don't let Drew's stats fool you because the Saints did a pretty good job running the football as well. They ran early, often and efficiently for 167 yards, 4.6 ypc and 3 TDs, using a mixture of Pierre, Sproles and Ivory. The current RB rotation is a thing of beauty. And what a great time for a football team to hit their stride with their rushing attack.
- My love for Pierre Thomas grows with each broken tackle and extra-effort yard. He was a beast last night both running and pass catching with 121 total yards and a touchdown.
- The Twin Towers of Terror, Marques Colston and Robert Meachem, both had huge games with 11 catches for 231 yards among them. Colston was responsible for the first fumble, however, which brought flashbacks of the Packers game and Meachem was wide open when he let a ball go right though his hands on a long pass from Brees.
- Oh, hello Devery Henderson. Nice to see you again. Two catches, 64 yards and a touchdown.
- Did they mention his basketball background when Jimmy Graham made that sick one-handed catch? Let me tell you something: they don't have one-handed basketball catching drills. He does that because he's just naturally talented. Graham isn't a good tight end because he played basketball. He's a good tight end because he's effing awesome at football. I'm ready to end the comparisons.
- The halftime entertainment was LSU's Golden Band from Tigerland. It was definitely the most interested I've ever seen the crowd at halftime and when they started playing LSU's fight song they went wild. Well played.
- I keep seeing Lions fans complaining about the officiating. Was it bad? It seemed fine to me in the Dome.
- Just as I suspected and as we all hoped, the Saints defense has started catching some freakin' interceptions. Well, at least Jabari Greer has anyway. Greer finished the night with two key interceptions in the second half.
- It was a busy evening for the Saints secondary in general. Tracy Porter, Jabari Greer, Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper had 25 tackles among them. Not surprising since the Lions barely had a rushing game to speak of. They ran for a net total of 32 yards.
- How many times did Calvin Johnson come up with a catch even though two defensive backs were right on him, watching it all happen. I don't think it was a problem with coverage, though. I think the Saints just physically couldn't do anything about it.
- Does Tom Benson have to pay Thomas Morstead his full salary for this game? He didn't have to punt once.
- Black pants, bitches!!!