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Ups and downs from Saints vs. Lions

The Saints season is in jeopardy after Sunday’s loss,

NFL: Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints fell to third in the NFC South and a 5-7 record after losing to the Detroit Lions on Sunday. New Orleans was down 21-0 early in the game but fought back with the game ending 33-28

Up: Chris Olave

At the start of the season, you could've told me Chris Olave would be at 1,300 yards after 12 games and I would’ve believed you, but quarterback Derek Carr and Olave have struggled throughout the season to build any type of connection. This changed when the 2nd-year wide receiver went for 114 yards in only 2.5 quarters against the Atlanta Falcons. It looked as if Olave and Carr had finally found the rhythm they had been looking for. Carr and Olave built on this connection against the Lions with the speedster going for 119 yards on 5 receptions, but most of all showing consistency. Olave has racked up 327 yards over his last three games and continues to help elevate a stale Saints offense.

Up: Alvin Kamara

There’s one thing that you can always rely on any given Sunday, Alvin Kamara will leave it all on the field. Kamara plays hard and wants to win and this shows up on film. The veteran running back recorded 109 yards on offense and 2 touchdowns on Sunday. Kamara had a similar game against the Falcons the week before going over 100 yards on offense. The Saints offense has had its struggles all season, but that is despite Kamara's efforts to help the team win. Kamara is nearing 1,000 total yards on the season in only nine games coming back from suspension.

Down: Juwan Johnson

Tight end Juwan Johnson was one of the Saints breakout candidates to start the year, but a breakout does not seem to be the case. Johnson has appeared in 8 games recording 18 receptions for 142 yards and a touchdown. The blame for lack of impact for Johnson can be put on play calling. The four-year tight end excels in the red zone but is being left out of the red zone personnel. This also applies to veteran tight end Jimmy Graham who caught a touchdown pass for the Saints on Sunday. Despite who you blame for Johnson’s reduced role, he struggled against the Lions. The wide receiver turned tight end dropped two passes and didn't record a stat. Johnson’s first drop came on the Saints’ first offensive play of the day. This pass bounced out of Johnson’s hands and into Lions safety Brian Branch’s possession.

Down: Culture

New Orleans has often been known as one of the hardest places to play in the NFL, but the Saints continue to lose their fan engagement. The Superdome crowd was overwhelmed with blue jerseys and the “Let’s go Lions” chants broke out early. Whenever Derek Carr would leave the field fans would cheer and whenever he would reenter, they would boo. Saints’ fans are frustrated and tired of losing. This frustration will cause fewer and fewer fans to spend money to go to games. And despite all of this, the Superdome’s crowd still showed up and showed support by getting loud when it looked like the Saints were giving them something to cheer about.