Jeff Riger: Lions Preparing For The Big Easy
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Tuesday morning the Lions were back on the practice field getting ready for what most people call “an unwinnable game” against the Saints at the Superdome in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Detroit, fresh off allowing 6 touchdowns from Packers back-up Matt Flynn have been installed as over a 10 point underdog, something that seems to act as motivation for every Lion player. Matt Stafford talked about New Orleans being the heavy favorite saying “you know I like us on the road, we play great on the road, we’re a team that thrives on having our backs against a wall and going out there and playing. Obviously people are going to pick the game however they want to pick the game but it doesn’t really matter once the ball is snapped.”
Ndamukong Suh, a guy that was not able to play in the Lions last game vs. the Saints due to a suspension loves being the underdog. Suh said “I have always felt that way; I have always felt that since I have been in Detroit that we always have had to battle against a lot of different things. I’m used to it!” The second year defensive tackle went on to talk about how rough it was missing that first game at the Superdome in early December saying “It was obviously difficult, I always want to be with my teammates and being able to support them. I’m in a position now that I can really help them and I look forward to doing that.”
Of course Suh and the rest of the Lions were very aware that the media would ask about allowing 45 points to a bunch of second string Green Bay players on New Year’s day, and if they couldn’t stop them, how could they stop Drew Brees and company? Suh had an answer for that as well saying “I don’t plan on anybody shooting our defense out.”
On a side note, Stafford might have been ripping on Bronco’s QB Tim Tebow just a little when describing how he loves the Lions offense and the fact that he is allowed to throw the ball 50 plus times. Stafford was asked how QB’s are judged this time of year and he replied “win, that’s what people are judged on this time of year, quarterbacks. You know the fun thing for me, a lot of it is on me getting to throw the ball around and that is awesome. I’d rather have it that way then to go out there and throw 8 passes in a game and have us win. It’s fun to go out there and sling it around and see what happens.” Tebow threw the ball 8 times total in a win against the Chiefs back on November 13th, he completed just 2 of those passes.
Detroit will have a couple more days of practice before heading out to the Big Easy on Friday afternoon. Game time is at 8:30 on Saturday night.
Watch the Nate Burleson and Ndamukong Suh videos below for more response about the Saints and the playoffs.