New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions
Sunday, October 4, 2020 – 1:00 PM EST at Ford Field
The Saints defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first game of the series, but they paid a price. The Saints lost their all-star receiver in Michael Thomas due to injury. Since then, the Saints have lost two straight with the offense struggling a bit, and the defense looking like swiss cheese. To be fair, the Saints have played the Buccaneers, Raiders, and Packers. Those are three teams that have looked very good offensively to start the season.
The Saints are allowing 368.7 yards per game with 268.7 of it in the air and just a 100 on the ground. This is a defense that has allowed 53.1% of drives to be scoring drives, and it's forcing less than 10% of drives to be turnover drives. That's not a solid recipe for success. Usually, the New Orleans offense could overcome their defensive struggles, but that hasn’t been the case this season.
The Lions won’t be bringing much pressure to the quarterback. The Lions only have three sacks on the season, very few quarterback knockdowns, and few pressures against the quarterback. If the Lions allow Brees some time to allow plays to develop with his receivers, the Saints could be well on their way to plenty of points.
Brees has only been sacked three times this season and has rarely been pressured. Therefore, he’s averaging 266 yards passing per game and has helped the Saints to 371 yards total offensively per game.
The Lions have really struggled defensively this season. Detroit is allowing 423 yards but 172.3 yards are from the ground. The Saints rarely bring out the run with Latavious Murray, and rather Brees throw to Alvin Kamara. The Saints have run the ball just 73 times in three games and have just 18 first downs from those plays. Will the lack of a running game hurt the Saints chances in this game?
The Lions secondary has now improved with Jeff Okudah back there, the first-round pick and fifth overall for the Lions. Okudah already has an interception to his name in the NFL and helped the Lions upset the Cardinals 26-23 last week. There’s also the hype surrounding the Lions as Kenny Golladay and Jeff Okudah are now healthy and playing. Those were two key pieces that were missed earlier in the season.
The Lions could very well be 2-1 to start the season but somehow let the Chicago Bears back in a game where they led for most of the day. The top sportsbooks expect this game to be close. The Lions had an outlier against the Packers where the offense obliterated the secondary, but the Lions are a young team that is only getting better behind Matthew Stafford.
The Saints running back Alvin Kamara leads the team in rushing and receiving. This team needs Michael Thomas, who did all of the little things. He was the blanket for this offense. A guy you could trust on a slant to get extra yardage and a first down.
The Lions have allowed 517 yards on the ground this season. Will the Saints elect to run with Murray and Kamara? Or will they continue to try to throw to receivers who just aren’t as qualified as Thomas is?
There’s no doubt that the Lions have been bad defensively, but they stepped up against the Cardinals and Kyler Murray, forcing three interceptions. Brees is usually better when it comes to making decisions. However, he’s air mailing throws and missing receivers he usually never did before.
Both teams have really lacked defense this season. We’ve got two veteran quarterbacks going up against each other ready to embarrass these secondaries. The over/under NFL line is sitting at 54, and while these NFL odds are a bit high, both teams could end up scoring 30 apiece.