The 1-2 Detroit Lions will look to even out their record in Week Four
After a victory as the underdogs in Week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals, the Detroit Lions will look to continue their momentum in a home matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
This article will take a look at the history between the two teams, their most recent matchup, what to watch for, what the Lions need to do to win and lastly, a prediction for the game.
The record is even for both teams at 12-12-1 during regular season play. These two teams have met in the playoffs once with the Saints taking the victory 45-28 during the wild card round in 2011. In Detroit, the Saints are 3-7-1 all time.
The last time these two teams met was in Week 6 of the 2017 season where the Saints took this game by a whopping score of 52-38. Quarterback Drew Brees completed 20 of 30 attempts for 186 yards while throwing for two touchdowns and interceptions apiece.
Running back Mark Ingram ran for 114 yards on 25 carries while Alvin Kamara ran for 75 yards on 10 carries. Star wide receiver Michael Thomas was only held to three receptions for 11 yards. Defensive end Cameron Jordan recorded five tackles with two sacks and an interception.
For the Lions, quarterback Matthew Stafford completed less than 50% of passes (25/52) throwing for 312 yards with three touchdowns and interceptions apiece. Running back Ameer Abdullah had 14 carries for 54 yards.
Wide receivers Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr each got a touchdown and 96 reception yards with Tate having one more catch with seven receptions. Linebacker Jarrad Davis had six tackles and cornerback Darius Slay got an interception.
What to watch for
One thing to watch for is if Thomas plays, how is ankle will react as he’s missed the past two weeks with a high ankle sprain but could return this week. Another thing to watch for is how often the Saints use their rushing attack as they have an elite running back in Kamara with Latavius Murray as their second string running back and Brees isn’t as able to throw the ball too far down the field.
Keys to the game/What the Lions need to do to win the game
In order for the Lions to even out their record at 2-2, they will need to focus on stopping the Saints run game. Kamara can make a case right now as the best running back in the game especially with Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers and Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants out with injuries.
Also if Thomas does make a return to the field, they will need to contain him as well. Last year, he broke the NFL record for most receptions in a whole season and he has a great connection with Brees despite the quarterback’s decline.
Even though Brees isn’t the quarterback he used to be, the Saints have an elite QB-RB-WR tandem in Brees, Kamara and Thomas. As Kamara and Thomas are the top players at their respective positions, the Lions will have a very hard time being able to stop them.
On offense, the Saints defensive line will get at least two sacks as Jordan will find his way past the line to get to Stafford. Even with a loss, Stafford will have a good game throwing for more than 300 yards.
Final score prediction: New Orleans Saints 33, Detroit Lions 24