Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wild Card I Ching Picks: Lions @ Saints- 11

Saturday 8:00 PM EST
Lions @ Saints -11
Hexagram 35: Prospering
This hexagram portends flourishing and thriving in the full light of the Sun. This bodes well for two teams that got to the playoffs behind high powered offenses. The Saints finished the season first in the league averaging 467 yards a game fueled by Drew Brees’s assault on the record book. The Lions finished the season ranked 5th in total offense and are in the playoffs for the first time in a decade because of Matthew Stafford’s awesome play down the stretch.
Both teams also have serious issues on the other side of the ball. The Lions defense opened the year looking much improved, but have faded as the season has worn on, shown by the fact that they gave up 110 of the 387 points scored on them in the last four games of the season. That averages to about 20 points per game for their first twelve, then over 27 during the season’s final quarter. The Saints ranked 24th in the league in total defense (exactly one spot behind the Lions) but seems to be going in the opposite direction. They gave up only 70 points in their final four games (all wins) even though playing two explosive offenses, Atlanta and Carolina, in their last two games.
No one has been able to stop Drew Brees all season, and I don’t expect the Lions to tonight. They are undefeated at home this year and average over forty points a game in the eight games in the Super Dome so far. I expect at least that many tonight in New Orleans. Detroit may be able to put up some points, but the Saints have the better defense and running game and should have enough to keep this game out of reach for the Lions.  

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