The New Orleans Saints will square off with one of the NFL’s better offenses this Saturday when they host Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions at the Superdome to jump start the 2011-2012 NFL playoffs.
Stafford has thrown for 5,038 yards this year in his first full sixteen game season after battling shoulder injuries in his first two years in the NFL.
He missed a combined 19 games in those seasons.
He is a large reason why the Detroit Lions made the playoffs this year for the first time since since 1999, well he and wide receiver Calvin Johnson, his favorite target throughout the regular season.
Johnson, known as “Megatron” in reference to his size and speed, caught 96 of Stafford’s passes for an NFL best 1,681 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns.
Covering Johnson is tough for any defense in the NFL, but the Saints are very familiar with how to slow him down.
In a week thirteen win over the Lions the Saints defense held Johnson out of the end zone while limiting him to only 69 receiving yards, often times “double” jamming him at the line of scrimmage with two defenders.
New Orleans will also likely be returning one of their best players in the secondary before Saturday’s game — free safety Malcolm Jenkins.
Jenkins emerged from the Saints victory over the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago with a sore neck.