The Detroit Lions (1-2) avoided an 0-3 start by beating the Arizona Cardinals last week 26-23. Detroit will be facing a New Orleans Saints (1-2) team that will be looking to bounce back from a loss against the Green Bay Packers.
Week 2 Deja Vu?
This reminds me very much of the lead up to the Green Bay game in Week 2. Fox Bet has Detroit as the underdogs (+4) heading into their Week 4 matchup against the Saints. Although it ended in a loss, New Orleans was able to compete with Green Bay offensively (37-30). Something Detroit couldn’t manage to do in their Week 2 loss (42-21). So what can we expect on Sunday? Will the Detroit defense that showed up against Arizona come to play, or will it be a repeat of the Green Bay game.
Bye at the Right Time?
The Detroit Lions will have a Bye Week after their game against the Saints. Matt Patricia will be desperate to head into the Bye Week with a win. It provide the team with season-altering momentum. The team would sit at 2-2, with their three upcoming games being very winnable. Here is Detroit’s upcoming schedule before they face division favorites, the Green Bay Packers.
Week 6: @ Jaguars (1-2) | Week 7: @ Falcons (0-3) | Week 8: vs Colts (2-1) | Week 9: @ Vikings (0-3) | Week 10: vs Washington (1-2) | Week 11: @ Panthers (1-2) | Week 12: vs Texans (0-3) | Week 13: @ Bears (3-0)
There is a lot of football left to be played, and Detroit has a favorable schedule before heading to Lambeau to face the likely division winners. So what exactly is there to fight for? The Wild Card spots. Any hope the Lions have for the playoffs will disappear if they can’t win on Sunday. A win on Sunday, and two weeks to prepare for the Jaguars could send Detroit on a three-game winning streak. With favorable matchups against the Falcons, Colts, Washington and Panthers.
This is a very optimistic outlook, especially for the Detroit Lions, but we can see the potential swing of momentum a win against New Orleans can provide the team. What looked like a lost season after Week 2, now looks as if it may not be lost after all.
What Detroit Needs to Do
Control the Clock
Detroit will need to control the amount of possessions they give Drew Brees and the Saints if they plan on being competitive in the game. Similar to their game-plan against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals last week.
Controlling the clock will give help the Detroit defense stay fresh, and improve their chances of containing Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. If Thomas doesn’t suit up for any reason, it gives Detroit more room for error by focusing on Kamara, the Saints leading rusher and pass catcher.
Pass Rush and Turnovers
The Saints have only committed two turnovers in the first 3 Weeks of the NFL season. If the Lions are able to put consistent pressure on Drew Brees and force a turnover or two, their chances of winning the football game sky-rocket.
Prediction: New Orleans Saints 31-33 Detroit Lions