EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Before we get to the playoff game between the Falcons and Giants, let’s take a look back at the highlights from New Orleans’ victory against Detroit on Saturday night.
Let’s start with some numbers from ESPN Stats & Information:
The Saints did a lot of short passing in the first half, but they opened it up in the second half. Drew Brees attempted five passes of 30 or more yards in the second half. He completed four of those for 178 yards and two touchdowns as the Saints scored on their first five drives of the second half. Brees’ lone incompletion came on a drop by Robert Meachem.
The Lions barely blitzed Brees and chose to keep their defenders in coverage. Detroit rushed four or fewer players on more than 90 percent of Brees’ drop backs. In those situations, Brees completed 32 of 39 passes for 425 yards and three touchdowns.
The Saints rushed for 167 yards, including a season-high 92 yards after contact. Pierre Thomas led the way with 43 yards after contact. In his final five games of the regular season, Thomas totaled 65 yards after contact. The regular-season, single-game high for the Saints was 38 yards after contact in Week 7 against the Colts.
The Saints sent five or more pass-rushers after Matthew Stafford on 55 percent of his drop backs. That’s the highest percentage of blitzes Stafford has faced in a game in his career. The Saints blitzed on 66 percent of Stafford’s drop backs in the first half.
Stafford actually had a better Total QBR than Brees. Stafford scored 91.1 and Brees came in at 84.9 percent. Brees’ score was knocked down quite a bit by his first-half fumble.
Obviously, I couldn’t attend the game in New Orleans. But colleague Ashley Fox was there. Here’s her column on the Saints.