The New Orleans Saints punched their ticket to California to take on the San Francisco 49ers after dispatching the Detroit Lions 45-28 in the 2012 Wild Card round of the playoffs. The game was extremely close in the first half, including the Lions actually leading the Saints at halftime, limiting the high scoring offense to just 10 points and forcing two turnovers. The Lions couldn't capitalize on the fumbles however, including one that saw a potential touchdown wiped out by an inadvertent whistle.
The Lions offense put up plenty of points, as quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions late in the game while the Lions were trying to make their comeback. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson once again showed everyone why he's arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, picking up 12 receptions for 211 yards and two touchdowns. According to the NBC broadcast, Johnson had the best NFL playoffs debut for a wide receiver in NFL history.
The New Orleans Saints offense was just another animal all together. The Saints offense didn't punt single time in the game, converting on three of their four fourth down attempts. Quarterback Drew Brees lit up the stat sheet, passing for the second most passing yards in NFL playoff history with 466 yards and three touchdowns. All-purpose player Darren Sproles also picked up two touchdowns on the ground while the Saints saw both Robert Meachem and Marques Coltson both go over 100 yards receiving. On the night, the Saints picked up 626 yards of total offense all by themselves.
Check out the complete 2012 NFL playoffs schedule. For more on the Saints and their trip to the playoffs, check out SB Nation's Canal Street Chronicles. For more on the Lions and their first playoff appearance in over a decade visit Pride of Detroit.