It took all four quarters for the Green Bay Packers to move one step closer to learning their divisional round fate on Saturday night, but after Drew Brees exploded for 466-yards and three touchdowns, you can go ahead and rule the Detroit Lions out of the mix.
The first half would’ve had you believe otherwise though, at least until the Saints clinched momentum heading into the locker room at half time. If you thought the Lions still had a fighting chance after that, you were right, but another Saints touchdown to open the third quarter quickly started to illustrate the ugly point.
Defensively, the Lions were flat. That too was a little weird, considering Detroit’s first half lead came from two turnovers converted into touchdowns. The added threat of Calvin Johnson did pay off at times, but when safety Amari Spievy was late to the line, Brees had no trouble finding tight end Jimmy Graham for the dagger.
What all of this means for the Packers though, is that no round three rematch against Detroit is on the cards this year. Realistically, it was what fans were hoping for – especially after Week 17’s 86-point throwdown. Even so, the revenge factor that a possible rematch with the New York Giants poses following 2007’s disappointment in overtime is also a valuable prospect.
If by tomorrow, the Packers are to face the Atlanta Falcons again however, much of the same can be expected. Although Green Bay’s defense pales in comparison to a year ago, the Falcons may be without cornerback Brent Grimes and linebacker Stephen Nicholas – two severe wounds to Atlanta’s defense.