When the Saints played two weeks ago, the rallying cry was to get out of the rut and get back in the groove. After needing overtime to defeat what looks to be a woeful Tampa Bay Buc team at home, the Saints hardly appear to be in a groove but appear to have pulled themselves out of the rut.
So they sit on a precarious ridge between what they hope to be and what they have been. Success or failure against the Lions will at least for the moment determine which slot they now occupy.
This is an intriguing match-up: The Saints' second-ranked offense versus the Lions' top-ranked defense. The Lions' front four, which features three first-round draft picks harassing opposing quarterbacks for an NFL-best 20 sacks. The Saint offensive line allowing Drew Brees to be sacked just four times in five games.
The Saint defensive line, which has only collected five sacks hoping to victimize a Lion offensive line that's permitted quarterback Mathew Stafford to be dropped a league-worst 21 times.
A sputtering and injury-plagued Lion offense forced to play conservatively against a Saint defense that has only contributed two takeaways to a minus-8 turnover differential that's 29th in theNFL.
While Reggie Bush has had little impact on the Lion offense thus far, it would seem to be essential that that continue to be the case against the Saints as he returns after a one-week absence with an ankle injury.
Certainly he'll be motivated to play his best football in his first meeting with his former team. We remember all too well how former Saints Scott Fujita, Robert Meachem and Chris Ivory played against New Orleans in their first opportunities as opponents to do so. Adding Reggie to that list would mean almost certain defeat for the visitors.
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