Elton John sang "Saturday night's alright for fighting" and it's a safe bet that Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh feels the same way heading into the night cap against the New Orleans Saints on the opening day of the 2012 NFL Playoffs.
While that John tune could set the mood for this Wild Card game, it may be the words of another John -- John Madden -- that decide the outcome. A football institution thanks to his time with the Raiders, in the broadcast booth and narrating video games, Madden once said, "when your arm gets hit, the ball is not going to go where you want it to."
Rare is it that truer words are spoken.
Seeing as how this game pairs two teams that plan on throwing their way to victory, it could very well be the team that has the most success hitting the arm of the opposing quarterback that emerges victorious. Certainly, Suh and the Lions' defense will need to bother Drew Brees to have any hope of advancing in the postseason. Brees is coming off a record-setting regular season in which he threw for more yards in a single season than any player in the history of the NFL. To make the task facing the Lions even more daunting, Brees and the Saints' prolific passing attack were undefeated in the Big Easy all season long. Among the eight wins for New Orleans at the Dome this season was a triumph over these same Lions, 31-17.
Can the Lions keep pace tonight? Will the Saints keep rolling?
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01/07/2012 11:17 PM EST
And the handshake goes off without any drama.
01/07/2012 11:16 PM EST
Tick. tock.. kneel
As far as everyone on the field is concerned, we're done. Michaels and Collinsworth authoring post-mortem for Lions.
01/07/2012 11:15 PM EST
That Just Happened
@ Official_Saints :
On 2nd & goal from the 2-yd line, the Saints call Brees' favorite play - QB kneel.
01/07/2012 11:13 PM EST
Saints will return to field with 1st and goal from the two, leading 45-28.
01/07/2012 11:13 PM EST
Chris Ivory pushes the pile, comes out the other side of the pile and eventually grinds to a halt at 2. He's likely got a hemi.
01/07/2012 11:12 PM EST
Falling, Pushing, Penalizing
Brees slides down in backfield as whistles whistle and flag lands. False start. Some pushing and shoving among the big boys.
01/07/2012 11:11 PM EST
Or An Empty Backfield
Saints sending signals to every team at home watching. Colston can't get to pass but flag comes in for PI. 1st and goal.
01/07/2012 11:10 PM EST
2nd and 8
Brees under center, tosses to Ivory, who eludes a tackler in backfield to pick up a yard. 3rd and 7. Another running play? A draw?
01/07/2012 11:09 PM EST
Saints stay on ground with Ivory. Lions use second timeout.
01/07/2012 11:08 PM EST
Greer always knew where Stafford was going. If the wheels were already coming off for Lions then Greer just went under the hood and nabbed the car battery.