Getting the”inside scoop” we exchanged questions with Zac Snyder, the editor of FanSided’s Detroit Lions site sidelionreport.com, to ask him some questions about the upcoming playoff game between the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions.
Zac had a few questions of his own for WDD, check them out at this link.
1. How big of a deal is it to Lions fans that the team made the playoffs after the up and down play the last half of the season?
It’s a big deal to Lions fans because the team hasn’t been there since 1999. Personally, I think too much was made over the mid-season swoon as it was more of a product of the schedule than anything else. Yeah, the Lions lost five of seven games at one point but those losses were to the 49ers, Falcons, Bears (with Cutler), Saints and Packers. The Lions may not have had a great signature win but they didn’t have a bad loss either.
2. Matthew Stafford didn’t make the Pro Bowl, are fans pissed and do they feel the Lions get little credit because of past mediocrity?
Fans are understandably upset that “our guy” didn’t get in but it is hard to pin-point exactly why. The Manning name and New York certainly carry a lot of cache but it is hard to explain how Matthew Stafford could wind up as the third alternate behind Cam Newton and Tony Romo. I have heard it said that a player’s first and last Pro Bowl come a year later than they are actually deserved. That will be the case with Stafford.
3. What is the talk around the Lions fan-base about facing the Saints at home in the playoffs?
We’d all have rather had the Lions make a trip to face the Giants but a lot of fans recognize that a playoff run probably goes through New Orleans eventually so the Lions might as well face them now.
4. What if anything can the Lions defense do to slow Drew Brees and the Saints offense?
Normally I would say pass rush but Brees is so in-tune with the rest of the offense that he can get the ball where it needs to be very quickly. Pressure will still be important but the Lions defense needs to take the field with a tackling, not hitting, mentality. Wrapping up to avoid turning short gains into big gains could be the difference, especially when the ball is in Darren Sproles’ hands.
5. Most feel the Lions got the short end of the stick having to face the Saints. With that said would they have rather faced the Giants instead?
The team won’t say that but fans definitely are. In the end, it’s the playoffs and everyone is good to some degree. No one should ever expect an easy playoff game (that includes the Saints here, although I’m sure no one needs reminding after what happened in Seattle last year). The Lions feel like they earned their way into the playoffs so they will bring confidence in their game against any opponent.