[to top of second column]
Strief said he could not recall the Saints playing so well for such a sustained period, noting that their 13-game winning streak to open 2009 included a couple of unlikely comeback victories in which the Saints got some breaks.
"Some of those wins had a feeling of destiny," Strief said. "I don't think that necessarily is the feeling right now. I think the feeling in this locker room now is that we are playing really good football."
Fiery Lions coach Jim Schwartz is quick to compliment New Orleans, but did not seem inclined to complain about drawing the Saints in the first round.
"We are very glad to be in the situation that we are in," Schwartz said. "It's been a long time coming for this organization. ... The team that is going to win on Saturday is the team that plays best on Saturday at 7 o'clock for 60 minutes. It is not going to be based on what happens eight weeks before or any stats. That is the great thing about playoff football."
Detroit gave New Orleans one of its tougher games this season and the outcome might have been closer if not for a slew of penalties that cost the Lions more than 100 yards. In addition, Detroit was without ferocious defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, safety Louis Delmas and cornerback Chris Houston, who are slated to play this time.
The Lions have game-breaking players of their own including Johnson, who led the NFL with 1,681 yards receiving and led the NFC with 16 TDs receiving.
"You know what? We've got some pretty good players, too," Schwartz said. "We've got some players that can give some other teams some problems.
"The point is, we earned our way into the playoffs also and we did it by winning and putting good players on the field and we need to worry about ourselves. We need to respect our opponent, but not so much worry about what records they set this year."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Sports index
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor