Five Reasons Why The Saints Will Win/Lose On Sunday
The New Orleans Saints return to action this Sunday, and it’s time to take a look at five reasons why they will win, and five reasons why they will lose.
The Saints, who are currently 5-6 on the year, will be home to take on the Detroit Lions, who will enter the contest at 7-4, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La.
Kickoff time is scheduled for noon.
5 Reasons The Saints Will Win:
1)—Drew Brees: Brees leads the NFL in passing yards-per-game, averaging 326.0, and is coming off a game against the Los Angeles Rams in which he threw for 310 yards and four touchdowns. Sure, Detroit is in first place in the NFC North, but their pass defense is only average, and besides, they have to face Brees, who is having his best season since 2011, and will likely play at a high level on Sunday.
2)—Detroit Defense Creates Few Turnovers: It's hard to stop Brees and the Saints offense. Normally, to keep them off the scoreboard, you have to create turnovers, something the Lions just don't do. This season, the Detroit defense has forced only 11 turnovers. Only 7 teams in the league have fewer. The Lions have also only recovered 4 fumbles all year, with only 6 teams forcing, and recovering fewer.
3)—Saints Have A Better Rushing Attack: The Saints are averaging 114.6 rushing yards-per-game, which ranks 9th in the league, while the Lions are only averaging 80.8, which ranks 30th. Mark Ingram has been great since being benched after a costly fumble a few weeks ago, rushing for 158 yards against the 49ers on the first Sunday in November, prior to rushing for 146 rush yards against the Rams last week. The Saints should have more success on the ground on Sunday than the Lions.
4)—Lack Of Lions Pass Rush: Detroit has only tallied 20 sacks this season. Only four teams have gotten to the quarterback fewer times. Meanwhile, Brees does a great job of avoiding pressure, being sacked only 18 times this year, which ranks as the 6th-lowest figure in the league. If the game plays out the year has, the Lions will have a tough time getting to Brees, which would mean bad news for the Detroit secondary.
5)—Saint Are Getting Healthier: Sheldon Rankins, who missed the first 8 games of the year, has been impressive in his first three games, while Delvin Breaux, who missed 7 games earlier in the season, before being inactive against the Panthers, returned last week. Yeah, the Saints are still hobbling, but having your first round draft choice, along with your top cover cornerback available for what we hope are the final 5 games of the season is certainly a plus.
5 Reason the Saints Won’t Win:
1)—Kenny Vaccaro: He’s still facing a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. In Vaccaro’s case, the drug in question is Adderall. Vaccaro has been really good this year, compiling 62 total tackles, second most on the team, to go along with one sack and two interceptions. If he’s unable to play, it will unquestionably be a blow to the Saints, for this week, as well as the next three.
2)—Chances Are The Game Will Come Down To One Play: Okay, New Orleans has played 11 games so far this season, and 8 have been decided by 6 points or less. The Saints are good enough to hang in there with almost anybody, but not good enough to blow out most teams. Meanwhile, every game Detroit has played this year has been decided by 7 points, or less. Chances are, this game is going to come down to a couple of plays, and if that happens, anything can happen. It’s excruciating at times this year to be a Saints fan, what with all the close games, and losses, but don’t expect it to change.
3)—Golden Tate: He's a solid NFL receiver, and has been so for a long time. But against, the Saints, he becomes a Pro Bowler. He caught 10 passes for 154 yards and one touchdown against New Orleans in 2014, and then followed that up with two touchdown catches last year. Some guys just play their best football against certain teams, and Tate always seems to excel against the Saints. Not only does New Orleans have to limit hi catches, but they also have to tackle him when he gets his hands on the football, something they haven't been able to do the last couple of times they've faced him
4)—Lions Are Hot: Detroit has won three-straight, and 6 of their last 7, with their only loss being a 7-point setback on the road to the Texans. They're playing at a high level, with a lot of confidence. Chances are, they're going to play well, so the Saints can ill-afford to play only mediocre.
5)—Special Teams: This one isn’t hard to figure out; the Saints rank 31st (16.4) in terms of yards-per-kickoff return, while allowing the 7th-most in the league (24.3). The Saints have been bad on special teams all year, and have arguably lost three games this season, including their last two losses, specifically due to special teams. Sunday’s game will like be close, and special teams could be the difference. If it is, the Saints could be in trouble.