It’s Week 6, and we’re back again with the Interview with the Enemy series. This week, Chris Perfett of Pride of Detroit answers 5 quick questions about the upcoming matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions:
The Saints have had their share of struggles with their offensive line this season. How has the Lions offensive line looked thus far, and is current Saint Larry Warford missed?
You could possibly get a few Lions fans to admit they're missing Warford, but not for any reason based on talent. If you had asked before the season, the answer would have probably been a solid "no." Since then though, the Taylor Decker injury put a huge hole on the left side and no one's really got this whole deal working. This offensive line is letting Matthew Stafford get brutally hammered, a good half dozen sacks from Carolina.
Of course, those problems are stemming from tackle, but the entire left side is troubling. Graham Glasgow isn't exactly a rock solid starter. I think you could convince some Lions they'd take back any name to play on the left side of this line right now. Hell, Stafford might agree with that too, I don't know. But there's little depth and little cohesion. That comes with time in the season, but until then Stafford's just gonna keep getting pancaked.
The Lions have lost two heart-breakingly close games against the Saints NFC South rivals, the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers. Is the trend going to continue this week, or will the Lions continue to not do the Saints any favors by beating them this week?
I honestly don't know what you mean, the Lions beat the Falcons. You sure about that? I'd go check the notes but for some reason they're all gone from my book. Ha ha. I don't know how that happened.
I don't know what the Lions will do. That's the beauty of covering this team. Every season brings fresh new horrors and wild things. I've seen things you wouldn't believe. The 0-16 season. Matthew Stafford stringing together what seemed like a hundred comebacks against impossible situations, faced down with superior teams on every front. Balls batted out of the end zone. Fury at referees without end. C-beams glittering in the darkness near the Tannhauser Gate.
The Panthers game was absolutely not as close as the final score came out to be (two touchdowns at the end when Carolina's playing prevent is about as useful as my cat sh%&$ing outside his litter box) and really underscored every major flaw with the Lions offense, which has been erratic and incapable of utilizing its personnel. The defense can only do so much when it's taking half the game to see a first down, and no one should be giving up 175 yards to--sorry I have to squint at this page--Ed Dickson. I mentioned sack problems before too. It was definitively the worst game the Lions have played this season, and I don't trust the high points much right now.
What will they do with the Saints? I dunno. If Ezekiel Ansah remembers that his goal is to sack the quarterback he might take advantage of a favorable matchup with the offensive line but this offense needs a swift kick in the arse if anything is going to be done. After Carolina I need to see adjustments and more C-beams.
What should the Saints gameplan be if they want to be successful against Detroit?
Score more points.
Honestly, just have Brees air this thing out. The defense will get tired and the offense will have to remember how to play football. Just do whatever. John Madden.
Which player that Saints fans might not have heard of do you expect to make a big impact on the game?
Defensive end Anthony Zettel has been the surprise of the year for a struggling Lions defensive line. He's versatile, racking up both sacks and dropping into coverage to breakup passes. I mentioned Ezekiel Ansah struggling, so Zettel's improved performance (honestly thought he was going to be cut until he balled in the preseason) is what passes as a bright spot. Dude also tackles trees, like any good Football Man should do. He's got my vote.
Predictions for the game? Final score?
Nothing is certain in this life, only the inevitable closure of the universe.
Thank-you, Chris, for taking the time to answer our questions. Saints fans, make sure you check out chris and the work his guys are doing over at Pride of Detroit. You can follow them on Twitter @PrideOfDetroit, you can follow Chris @chrisperfett, and as always you can follow me @dunnellz.