Saints v. Lions: Week 13 Preview
Triskaidekaphobia. The fear of 13. No team wants to drop anymore games. All games are critical for playoff. Saints (5-6) vs. Lions (7-4).
Kickoff: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Week 12 Recap:
The Saints put on an offensive clinic on Sunday. Drew Brees threw 28 of 36, for 310 yards and 4 touchdowns. Mark Ingram played his best game with 14 carries for 146 yards and 1 touchdown. Michael Thomas, a rookie, was on fire. Thomas had 9 receptions for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Rams kept this game close in the first half, but the Saints’ defense held the Rams to 0 points in the second half. Saints pulled away in the second half to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Detroit had a field goal shootout against the Vikings. With this win over the Vikings, the Lions now hold sole possession of first place in the NFC North. Detroit won their last 4 of 5 by 7 points or less. This Lions team has been able to find the clutch factor to win their close games. Stafford finished with 23 completed passes for 232 yard and 1 touchdown. Prater, the Lions’ kicker, was spot on going 3 for 3 on field goals, and scored most of the Detroit’s points including the game winning 40-yard field goal to seal the win.
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Week 13 Preview
Last 3 Meetings:
Saints vs. Lions (December 21st, 2015) – Lions win 35-27
Saints @ Lions (October 19, 2014) – Lions win 24-23
Saints vs. Lions (January 7, 2012) – Saints win 45-28
Key Areas of focus:
Saints Play Calling– Detroit ranks 15th in overall defense, 14th in passing defense, and 15th in rushing defense. The Lions are the jack of all trades when it comes to defense, but a master of none. The balance in the play selection for the Saints will become a factor this coming Sunday. If the Saints get the running game established as they did last week versus the Rams, they should find success in opening up the Lions’ defense.
Match-up to Watch:
Saints’ Defense vs. Matthew Stafford – Detroit possess one of the bottom tier rushing offenses, which ranks them 30th in the NFL with an average of 80 rushing yards a game. This is a clear indication they rely on the passing game to score points. Keep an eye on the Saints’ secondary in this game. If Stafford can exploit the holes in the Saints’ defense, this game will turn into a shootout. If this game turns into a shootout expect the Lions to work their 4th quarter magic to close this game out.
Injury Report (as of Friday):
Ezekiel Anash (DE) – Full Practice (Ankle)
Don Carey (S) – Limited in Practice (Hamstring)
Marvin Jones Jr. (WR) – Limited in Practice (Thigh)
DeAndre Levy (LB) – Limited in Practice (Knee)
Theo Riddick (RB) – Limited in Practice (Ankle)
Tahir Whitehead (LB) – Limited in Practice (Knee)
Terron Armstead (T) – Did Not Participate in Practice (Knee/Quad)
Daniel Lasco (RB) – Did Not Participate in Practice (Hamstring)
Mark Ingram (RB) – Limited in Practice (Toe)
Senio Kelemete (C/G) – Full Practice
John Phillips (TE) – Full Practice
Zach Strief (T) – Full Practice
Next: Delvin Breaux's last few games in review
This game will come down to the fourth quarter. A shootout in the making, but the Lions’ 4th quarter magic won’t be enough this time to secure them the win. The Saints will squeak this one out. Saints: 31 – Lions: 28. The Saints’ playoff hopes will be alive after this game. Saints move to 6-6 on the season, while the Lions fall to 7-6.