The New Orleans Saints’ offense looked unstoppable in Saturday’s 2012 NFC Wildcard game. The Saints defeated the Detroit Lions 45-28 and advance to the NFC Division game against the San Francisco 49ers next Saturday. Drew Brees led the way as he threw for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns, but it was a balanced attack of rushing and passing that led to the win. The receiving corps of Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson, and Jimmy Graham caught impressive passes as they helped Brees amass over 400 passing yards once again.
Despite an early fumble and some dropped passes Colston had a huge game for the Saints as he caught 120 yards on 7 receptions. Another Saint receiver that stepped up in Saturday’s game was Robert Meachem who had 111 yards and a touchdown on 7 catches. One of Meachem’s catches was a 56 yard bomb in which he was left wide open and was able to get a touchdown. Devery Henderson and Jimmy Graham were the recipients of Brees’s other two touchdown passes as the Saints’ offense looked like a well oiled machine.
The Saints are known mostly as a passing team, but in Saturday’s win they showed that they have a decent running game. The Saints rushed for 167 yards, the bulk of which was made up by the running back triumvirate of Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, and Chris Ivory.
Sproles rushed for 51 yards and 2 touchdowns on 10 carries, Thomas rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown on 8 carries, and Ivory rushed for 47 yards on 13 carries. The three running backs did a little bit of everything and really complimented each other as they all managed to find the holes in the defense and rush for big gains.
Darren Sproles, the Saints’ “do-it-all” man, was electric almost every time he touched the ball and proved to be too fast for the Lions’ defenders. Thomas had a great game as he fought for extra yards every time he rushed; there were plays when you thought he was going to go down but he somehow managed to pick up three or four extra yards before any Detroit defenders could bring him down. Also, Chris Ivory showed up all night on the short yardage plays and converted plenty of first downs.
The Saints’ offense is firing on all cylinders right now and it could not have come at a better time. The Saints are set to play the number 2 seed, the San Francisco 49ers next week; a team that is known to have a very good defense. This matchup raises the age old question: What wins games offense or defense? If the Saints have anything to say about it, they figure their prolific offense should be able to beat anyone right now. I guess we will have to see how everything unfolds next Saturday.