First Look: Saints vs. Lions
The Saints (1-2) are hoping to get things corrected in Week 4 and avoid losing three straight. Standing in their way are the Lions (1-2), who just picked up their first victory of the season on the road against the Cardinals. New Orleans is just 3-7-1 in Detroit, losing their last game in 2014 in very heartbreaking Stanley Jean-Baptiste fashion.
What to Watch For
Injuries and availability. Jared Cook (groin) and Andrus Peat (ankle) both exited the Packers game early, and their status will be one to watch as the week progresses. The Saints could be without both, but at the same time could be getting Marcus Davenport (elbow) and David Onyemata (calf) back in the lineup. If Cook can't go, we might see more Taysom Hill at tight end to run alongside Josh Hill and Adam Trautman, and Nick Easton will fill in at left guard for Peat. Of course, we are waiting to see if Michael Thomas (ankle) will come back to the lineup. That would be a huge boost for New Orleans, as his absence has been clearly felt.
Is a defensive turnaround imminent? The Saints defense has struggled in the past couple games, and that's probably putting it lightly. Third down issues have plagued them, some of which can be attributed to bad penalties. The team has also given up a ton of big plays, which wasn't a big issue last season. There's been some good individual performances and efforts, but overall it's been a unit that has been very underwhelming and disappointing. They simply have to stop beating themselves.
The Real Drew Brees. It hasn't been a pretty start for Brees, and frustration is growing. Again, this is a team that misses Michael Thomas. The chemistry and timing hasn't been there for Brees and some of his receivers, and while the checkdowns to Alvin Kamara have been working, it's not what you want to see on every pass play. Perhaps it's being cautious with the football and not wanting to force it, but Brees is better than what he's put out there. Hopefully, this is the week he puts it back together.
Red October. The Saints are putting another streak on the line Sunday, as they enter the month of October winners of 12 consecutive games. The last time New Orleans lost was Week 7 of 2016 (10/23/16) against the Chiefs. Overall, Sean Payton's squad is 38-13 in October, and the Saints could use some of that momentum.