Should Lions Abandon the Run against Saints?
Defensively, the New Orleans Saints present a formidable challenge against the run.
Heading into Week 4, they rank fourth in the NFL against the run and 11th overall in terms of total yards allowed.
Against Arizona, Adrian Peterson was able to break off a big run early in the game, but then Detroit's rushing attack was unable to consistently average more than three yards per rushing attempt for the remainder of the game.
New Orleans stout defensive front has demonstrated an ability to limit opponents running backs to less than 3.5 yards per carry consistently.
Head coach Matt Patricia was asked Thursday in his pre-practice media session the importance of maintaining a rushing attack despite struggles at times to rack up yards on the ground.
"The run game is critically important. It's a big part of what keeps an offense balanced and kind of keeps a defense trying to stay in between defending both. It's really important," Patricia said.
He explained further, "The Saints, obviously, they've got a phenomenal front. They've got some guys up there that play the run extremely well. They play a lot of five down looks and they're not going to let you run the ball. They're going to play out upfront and they want to make you one dimensional because that's when they can release into that whole pass rush and get into their exotic blitzes and pressures and all the stuff that they do. So that's a big challenge for us."
The Saints have struggled to keep opponents off of the scoreboard though, as they've given up 11 touchdowns and 94 points in 2020 -- an average of 31.3 per game.
If Detroit is unable to gain traction on the ground, it may behoove Darrell Bevell's offense to lean towards passing the ball at a much higher rate then they have the first three games of the season.
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