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Ndamukong Suh's Sack List
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Lions vs Saints Pre-game

NOTE* The Lions vs Saints game was moved up to the Sunday Night game and will not be played at the time on their schedules.

Drew Brees is hot right now and the Detroit Lions will be without Ndamukong Suh and may be without Louis Delmas and Chris Houston as well. This is NOT a good recipe!

I have heard it said that the Lions will need to slow things down and use the short pass and run a lot to beat the Saints, by not giving them so many opportunities to score. This is foolish! Let us make that clear right now.

At what point this year have the Detroit Lions offense shown they can be a consistent ground eating offense and win that way? The Lions offense has seldom moved the ball down the field in short gains and ended with a touchdown. Most of their 6 pointers have come via the big play. It may not be the big play that actually scores the touchdown, but there is usually a big play that gets them down the field at some point in the drive.

I am not saying to ignore the run game or not throw short passes. I am just saying that if they get the opportunity to make the big play, they better darn well take it because they wont score much without it! They need to run often. They have a much better running team than given credit for and people would see this if Linehan would learn to use it. They will definitely need to use the short passes as well, but they simply cannot ignore the down field threat! The Lions must go deep sometimes to keep the defense honest and allow their big play talent to do what it does best.

The key to the Lions winning the game is not to use the short pass, run and eat time. The key to this game is for the Lions offense to come out of the gates firing on all cylinders. Score quick, or score slow, it does not matter. Just score early! Let the defense do the good job it often does and get an early lead on the Saints.

Another key to this game is to get to Brees. I don't care how hot he is right now, if you don't give him time to go through his reads, he wont do near as much damage. The Lions shut down Rodgers for the first half because they put pressure on him often. He may not have been sacked much, but he was often throwing earlier than he would have liked. If the Lions offense would have done their job in that game, the outcome would have had a completely different story.

You don't beat the great teams by playing good defense or good offense. You beat them by playing BOTH, good offense AND good defense and knocking them on their heals.

Unfortunately the Detroit Lions will have a harder time doing that this week with the injuries they have. This means that Cunningham will have to make sure he puts as much pressure on Brees as quick as he can. The stories have it the Saints defensive coordinator is one of the most aggressive in the NFL with his blitzing. The Lions will need to take a page from his book. They cannot count on the Defensive line getting all the pressure and the defensive backs covering well on the plays they don't pressure him. The Lions need to get to Brees a lot this game. They will need to bring the blitz as well as their great defensive linemen. Especially without Suh in there.

IF the Lions defense gets to Brees a lot early, and the offense comes out scoring, the Lions can win this game. Unfortunately I just do not have the confidence Linehan will have this offense scoring early. This late in the season, it is time to accept that Linehan lacks the ability to get this offense going out of the gates. I can almost see a replay of the Thanksgiving game as the defense might keep the Saints down but the offense will not take advantage of it. Then in the second half, the defense will grow tired and frustrated and the Saints will start scoring.

Lions 20
Saints 24

NOTE* The Lions vs Saints game was moved up to the Sunday Night game and will not be played at the time on their schedules.

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