Another week of football, and another week of our Interview with the Enemy series. This week, Mike Payton of Pride of Detroit answers 5 quick questions before our Week 4 matchup: the New Orleans Saints facing the Detroit Lions in a battle of 1-2 teams in the Motor City.
The Lions got a win! What is the state of the Detroit Lions fanbase? Expectations for 2020?
Right now it’s the expectations are still just about as tempered as they can be. While the Lions did beat a good Cardinals team, their defense still struggled in that game. Even though they picked off Kyler Murray three times, they allowed the Cardinals to score on every other drive except their final two.
The Saints are arguably better than the Cardinals. So there is some concern that the Lions are going to be dismantled this Sunday. Beyond that, the Lions will soon go on a string of winnable games. So at the moment the mood is let’s wait and see so we don’t get hurt again.
Who is one player on both sides of the ball that Saints fans might not be familiar with that you expect to make an impact on this game?
On offense I’ll say it’s Marvin Hall. It’s hard to pick someone else on this offense since all these guys are pretty well known. Hall only has two receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown this season, but with Kenny Golladay back in the lineup, it opens the door for what Hall exceeds in, the home run play. Hall might only get one or two targets in this game, but those targets are likely to come on deep passes since he’s a speedster.
On defense it’s one of the Lions newest additions, safety Duron Harmon. The former Patriot has become quite the locker room leader already and he’s been great on the field too. So far this season, Pro Football focus has him graded at 73.1. He snatched the Lions first interception of the season last week and almost grabbed a second one later in the game before the ball slipped out of his hands. He’s definitely someone to watch this year.
Finish this sentence: The Lions will win this game unless _________________.
The Saints show up. The Lions offense is good, but I’m not sure it’s good enough to win this game. Defensively the Lions are ranked 28th in yards allowed and 26th in points allowed so far. The Saints are ranked 8th in scoring on offense. It’s recipe for destruction for the Lions. Having said that, I’m not sure the Saints have really been the Saints that we’re used to so far this season. The Lions are a team that’s capable of sneaking up on teams that are not themselves.
If you were Sean Payton, how would you game plan to attack the Lions defense?
I would attack them in two ways. Right over the middle and with the run game. The Lions are notoriously leaky in the middle of the field. The Saints can work their tight ends all day and just have a blast. The Lions won’t be able to stop it. Speaking of not being able stop something, the Lions are 30th in the league in rushing yards allowed. Make sure you start Alvin on Sunday.
What is your prediction for the game? Who wins? Final score?
I hate to say it, but the Saints are going to win this game. I hate to say this even more, it’s probably going to be by a large amount. I think the Saints win 42-28.
Thank-you, Mike, for taking the time to answer our questions. Saints fans, make sure you check out Mike and the work his guys are doing over at Pride of Detroit. You can follow Pride of Detroit on Twitter @PrideofDetroit, Mike @POD_Payton, and of course you can follow me @ChrisDunnells.