The New Orleans Saints hosted the Detroit Lions at the Superdome on Saturday night in the first round of the 2012 NFL playoffs. The Saints were the overwhelming favorites entering the game, but the Lions put up a tough fight, particularly through the first half of play. In the end, the Saints came away with the victory by a final score of 45-28.
The Lions scored first, early in the opening quarter on a touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Will Heller. That 10-yard TD pass capped off a drive that took the Lions 80 yards on eight plays.
Darren Sproles would tie the game on a rushing touchdown early in the second quarter. Five minutes later, Calvin Johnson hauled in a 13-yard pass from Stafford and the Lions had taken a 14-7 lead. John Kasay kicked a 24-yard field goal at the end of the half, sending the game to halftime with the Lions holding a 14-10 lead.
The Saints regrouped in a big way in the second half as they scored on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Devery Henderson within the first two minutes of the third quarter. The touchdown gave the Saints their first lead of the game. Brees would give the Saints another touchdown late in the third quarter, when Stafford ran in the ball from the goal line to bring the Lions back within 3.
The Saints scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, on a 17-yard Sproles run and a 56-yard pass from Brees to Robert Meachem. That stretched the lead all the way out to 38-21 in favor of the Saints. Although the Lions would score one final touchdown on a 12-yard pass from Stafford to Johnson, the Saints got those points right back on a short touchdown run from Pierre Thomas.
With the win, the Saints will advance to the second round next Saturday, as they will travel to Candlestick Park to take on the No. 2 seed San Francisco 49ers.
For all news and information regarding the New Orleans Saints, please visit Canal Street Chronicles. For updates and perspective on the Detroit Lions, head on over to Pride of Detroit. For all things 49ers, you can always check out Niners Nation.