3 Keys to Victory for Lions against Saints
Detroit will look to win two straight games for the first time since Weeks 2 and 3 of the 2019 season when it squares off with the New Orleans Saints (1-2) this Sunday at Ford Field.
Here are three things the Lions must do in order to secure the Week 4 victory.
Continue to force turnovers
The only way in which the Lions were able to beat Kyler Murray and the Cardinals a week ago was because of forcing turnovers.
They caused three Murray interceptions, accounting for Detroit's first three forced turnovers of the season.
It'll be harder to force "Mr. Accurate," the Saints' Drew Brees, to commit a turnover.
He's only thrown one interception through three games.
However, the Lions still need to draw up plays Sunday that will put pressure on the future Hall of Fame passer, get defenders in his face and force an errant throw here and there.
Maybe, just maybe, that'll lead to a pick.
Brees has an extremely quick release, so you can't allow him any additional time to sit in the pocket and dissect the defense.
If the Lions do, it spells disaster for them in their Week 4 tilt with New Orleans.
Don't let Michael Thomas explode
The Saints' No. 1 receiver is expected to make his return Sunday after missing the last two weeks with a hamstring injury.
To put it simply, Detroit will have its hands full.
Thomas has led the NFL in receptions the last two seasons, and produced a career-high 1,725 receiving yards a year ago -- good for the seventh-highest total in NFL history.
He's an NFL legend in the making, and he will be the third straight star wideout that the Lions will be taking on -- Week 2 saw them do battle with the Packers' Davante Adams (36 reception yards) and Week 3 with the Cardinals' DeAndre Hopkins (137 yards).
Despite Hopkins torching the Lions' secondary, they were still able to pull out the victory last week in the desert because of the turnovers they forced.
Detroit's defense, as mentioned above, likely won't be as lucky in the turnover department against Brees & Co.
It makes it that much more important to limit the production of Thomas.
If he's allowed to go off in the manner that Hopkins did a week ago, the Lions will likely have a very hard time in notching the Week 4 win.
Please don't settle for field goals
Through the first three weeks of the season, it's become an annoying trend for the Lions to settle for field goals in the red zone.
A week ago in Arizona, they had three such drives out of five total red-zone trips in which they settled for Matt Prater field goals.
It's a trend that likely won't lead to a victory against a Saints team which has scored at least 30 points in each of its first three contests.
If Detroit -- a team that ranks just 27th in red-zone efficiency -- gets another five red-zone tries this week, it's going to need to punch it in for six on at least three of those opportunities.
Without doing so, it'll be hard for the Lions to find a path to victory vs. the Saints.
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