Posted January 07, 2012 on AP on Fox
Matthew Stafford connected with Will Heller on a 10-yard touchdown and the Detroit Lions, making their first playoff appearance since 1999, jumped to a surprising 7-0 lead on the New Orleans Saints after the first quarter at a raucous Superdome on Saturday night. Stafford quickly silenced the crowd with a 22-yard completion to Calvin Johnson on the second snap of the game. Then, on third-and-7 from the Saints 48, the quarterback made the first of four straight completions for double-digit yardage, connecting with Titus Young for 15 yards with the fans roaring again and the Saints blitzing. That was followed by an 11-yard completion to Young, a 12-yarder to Johnson and the scoring pass to the tight end, who sneaked off the line in the middle of the field and wasn't covered. Heller hauled in the pass at the 4 and got to the end zone before the defense could close in. On the drive, Stafford completed all but one of his six throws for 70 yards. New Orleans looked just as unstoppa...

Detroit vs. New Orleans: The Keys to a Lions Upset

In 1999, the Detroit Lions lost their last four games of the season, yet still make the post-season. Detroit’s first round opponent was the Washington Redskins, and despite beating Washington 33-17 during the regular season, Detroit lost to Washington in the first round 27-13. That playoff game in 1999 would be Detroit’s last, until this weekend when they will matchup against...

Lions lead Saints 14-10 at half of NFC playoff

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Detroit Lions hardly looked like a playoff neophyte.Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes, New Orleans was slowed by pair of uncharacteristic fumbles, and Detroit built a surprising 14-10 lead over the Saints at a raucous Superdome on Saturday night.Stafford went to Will Heller for a ...

No fine for Stafford’s MLB hat

Before last night’s wild-card game between the Lions and Saints, NBC aired an interview of Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford by Bob Costas. Several (including more than a few Patriots fans) pointed out that Stafford was wearing a backward hat that displayed the MLB logo, not an item of NFL-sanctioned apparel.  Pats fans are particularly sensitive…

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The Lions do have some things going for them. They are healthy. The foundation of their team, the defensive line, is intact. And they have their own 5,000-yard quarterback, too, in Matthew Stafford. If any team can trade punches with the powerful Saints and stay upright, it's these Lions.

Mike O'Hara: Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson is Lions' devastating KO combo

It was a good start toward what the Lions want to become but a bad ending for where they are now. They got revealed in their one-and-out playoff run, where the competition and stakes are at their highest.

Lions head into halftime with lead in Superdome

The Lions are doing a lot of things right in the Superdome on Saturday night. They have limited possessions by going on two long scoring drives. They have prevented big plays from the Saints offense and forced two turnovers. Detroit leads 14-10 in New Orleans with two touchdown passes from Matthew Stafford. The Saints have…

NFL Playoffs: Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints NFC Wild Card Game Preview and Prediction

The NFC playoffs begin in New Orleans as the Saints will host the Lions tonight. The two teams have already met up once this season, which came in Week 13. The Saints won 31-17, in a game that saw Drew Brees dominate the Lions’ defense. Matthew Stafford threw for 408 yards, but Drew Brees just outmatched the Lions. It should be a shootout this time around, as both quarterbacks...

Through one quarter: Lions have 7-0 lead, but Saints driving

The Lions got off to a quick start in the franchise's first playoff game since'99 when Will Heller, a third-string tight end, put Detroit on the board with a 10-yard touchdown reception, his first of the season.

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Sean Payton cautioned against assuming that a game featuring prolific quarterbacks Drew Brees and Matt Stafford would escalate into a shootout.
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