Comparing Saints and Packers

There suddenly is a lot of talk about the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers.

Which is the best team in the NFC? Which of them has the more explosive offense? Is Drew Brees better than Aaron Rodgers?

Well, fans and media members can argue that all they want. But let’s turn to the one person who might be most qualified to offer a neutral comparison of the two teams. That’s Detroit coach Jim Schwartz. His team lost to the Packers on Nov. 24. The Lions’ next game is Sunday night in New Orleans.

“I think they are different,’’ Schwartz said in a conference call with the New Orleans media Wednesday. “They are completely different schemes. I think the things that are similar are very efficient quarterbacks that can not only run the offense but also make big plays. They can stay out of trouble and don’t take very many lost-yardage plays. They also have tremendous confidence to fit balls in. There are some throws that Brees and Rodgers will make that a lot of quarterbacks wouldn’t risk. They trust their receivers. They trust their playmakers.’’

Schwartz took the conversation well beyond a comparison of Brees and Rodgers.

“Both teams have a lot of playmakers at a lot of different positions,’’ Schwartz said. “The Saints’ leading receiver is a tight end (Jimmy Graham) and Darren Sproles is the NFL’s leading receiver on third down. They have four different receivers that all have roles and can make plays. They all sort of fit different in their offense. Green Bay is probably the same way. Their schemes are different but they both have good quarterbacks and multiple playmakers. They are not just one-trick ponies. There are a lot of different places they can go and they are fairly balanced when it comes to run and pass. It makes you work defensively to try to keep points off the board.”