The Lions are coming off of a disappointing 27-24 home loss to the Carolina Panthers, and now they must prepare to take on another NFC South team, the New Orleans Saints (2-2). The Saints are coming off the bye week and have just traded away their big offseason signing, Adrian Peterson. For the Lions to take down Drew Brees and the Saints on the road, here are three things that they must do:
Matthew Stafford took a beating last week against the Panthers, he was sacked six times for a total loss of 37 yards. If the Lions want any chance of beating the Saints on Sunday, the offensive line has to play better and make sure an already injured Stafford doesn’t hit the ground as much as he did in the previous game. When they added Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang this past offseason, Lions fans rejoiced that the o-line would finally be better, but unfortunately, it’s not much better. Detroit’s line is currently ranked 26 out of 32 in the league, they must play better this week and in coming weeks if the Lions want a shot at the playoffs and the division title.
2Shut down Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas, the Saints’ leading receiver, has been great for New Orleans this year. He has 25 receptions for 310 yards (12.4 yards per catch) and two touchdowns. The Lions’ secondary cannot let him get into open space because he will burn them. If Darius Slay can limit the number of receptions Thomas gets in this game, then the Saints’ offense will essentially be shut down.
3Establish the run
If there was ever a time to get the run game going, it’s this Sunday. The Saints allow 109.5 rushing yards per game, so this is the perfect time to let loose Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, and Zach Zenner. If the Lions can get even one of them to run the ball well against New Orleans, then it will open up a lot more offensive opportunities and give them a much better chance to leave with a 4-2 record.