Both Drew Brees for the Saints and Matthew Stafford for the Lions enter the game playing the quarterback position at a high level with the ability to spread the ball around through the air to their respective offensive playmakers. The game will be a rematch of a December 4th regular season meeting that saw the two QBs combine for 750 passing yards, so look for much of the same in this game.
As Pride of Detroit observes, the Saints appeared to easily handle the Lions in that game but Detroit worked their way back into the game only to fall prey to self-inflicted wounds.
The two teams faced off in early December, with the Saints holding off a late comeback from the Lions. Statistically speaking, the two teams played a nearly identical game. The Saints had 338 yards passing and 100 rushing; the Lions had 379 passing, 87 rushing. The Saints averaged 7.2 a play, Lions 6.8. The biggest difference was penalties. The Lions had 11 for 107 yards, while the Saints only had three for 30.
So while this game is a rematch, the stakes are much higher and the level of intensity will be cranked up for both teams. The Saints have the advantage of experience with several playoff games and a Super Bowl under their belt, while the young Lions enter the playoff den for the first time. Maintaining their composure while still making plays will be key for Detroit to give themselves a chance to win and advance in the playoffs.