New Orleans Saints: Top news and video clips

It’s a tall order. New Orleans has won eight games in a row. Drew Brees, triggering the league’s No. 1-ranked offense, set the NFL‘s single-season record with 5,476 yards, and the Saints — averaging 41.1 points at the Superdome — were one of three teams to post an undefeated home record this season.

Abdul-Quddus was joined in newfound prominence last Sunday by linebacker Martez Wilson and cornerback Johnny Patrick, but rookie defensive end Cam Jordan has started every game in 2011, and he, too, enjoyed his finest outing of the season against Carolina.

Where things start to separate is in some of the “clutch” categories, and this is no indictment of Stafford — he’s playing at an unreal level for a 23-year-old quarterback, and Brees is one of the 10 best quarterbacks of all time. But on third-and-long (eight yards to go or more), Brees leads the NFL with a 47.5% first-down conversion rate, while Stafford ranks very low at 23.5% — he has converted just 19 of 81 such situations, while Brees converted 28 of 59 attempts.  Brees leads the NFL in completion percentage in late and close situations (70.6%, or 48 of 68), while Stafford is a bit lower down the list (57.0%, or 53 of 93).

Everything Detroit does well, New Orleans does better.In the regular season, the Lions averaged 396.1 yards per game, 29.6 points, 6.0 yards per offensive play and 300.9 yards passing. All impressive figures. But the Saints averaged 467.1 yards per game, 34.2 points, 6.7 yards per play and 334.2 yards passing. New Orleans also runs the ball better than Detroit (132.9 yards per game to 95.2). Detroit lost 31-17 in New Orleans Week 13 and is 3-4-1 on the road against the Las Vegas point spread this season. New Orleans is 8-0 ATS at home. The Saints and quarterback Drew Brees are favored by 10½ points and should win by more as this weekend’s “Best Bet”: New Orleans 41, Detroit 24

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Tags: Detroit Lions Drew Brees Matthew Stafford Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans Saints NFL Playoffs

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