National Football League
Preview
Detroit at New Orleans
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 4, 2016
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

The Detroit Lions haven’t won a division title since 1993, but they can pad their NFC North lead with a victory on Sunday against the host New Orleans Saints. The Lions have won three straight and six of their last seven, while the Saints hope to build off last week’s rout of Los Angeles and improve their standing in the playoff picture.



The Lions took over the division lead with a 16-13 win over Minnesota on Thanksgiving – their fourth triumph by three points or fewer. All 11 of Detroit’s games have been decided by a touchdown or less. The Saints are two games behind first-place Atlanta in the NFC South and among a slew of contenders for the second wild-card after recording a 49-21 drubbing of the Rams. The Lions have won two straight meetings with the Saints, including a 35-27 victory in New Orleans last season.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Saints -6. O/U: 53.5



ABOUT THE LIONS (7-4): Detroit has survived a lackluster ground game thanks to the maturation of Matthew Stafford, who has completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 19 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Stafford has thrown scoring passes to seven different targets - including leading receiver Golden Tate, who caught two in last year’s win over the Saints. Detroit’s defense has stepped up its effort of late, allowed fewer than 300 total yards on average over the last four games and holding three straight opponents under 90 yards rushing.

ABOUT THE SAINTS (5-6): New Orleans again possesses one of the league’s most prolific offenses but hasn’t been able to consistently make stops on defense. Veteran Drew Brees leads the league in passing yards (3,587) and touchdown passes (30) and has led three game-winning drives in the fourth quarter, while Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower give the Saints a viable running game. The defense has turned it up the last two games, holding Carolina and Los Angeles under 250 total yards after failing to keep an opponent under 325 in the first nine contests.



EXTRA POINTS

1. Stafford has passed for 1,949 yards with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions in his last seven road games.

2. Brees has thrown a touchdown pass in an NFL-record 60 consecutive home contests.

3. Detroit WR Anquan Boldin has caught a touchdown pass in each of his last two games against New Orleans and has four TD receptions in his past six contests overall.



PREDICTION: Lions 27, Saints 24


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Detroit 7-4 W3 22.5 21.6 5-1 2-3 0-3 0-0 - - 5-2
New Orleans 5-6 W1 30.4 27.9 3-3 2-3 2-2 0-0 - - 4-3
Last Meeting
Detroit New Orleans
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
12/21/15 DET 35 NO 27 396 150 246 399 69 330
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Detroit M. Stafford 88.0 254 3 0
New Orleans D. Brees 65.4 341 3 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Detroit A. Abdullah 9 77 8.6 1
New Orleans T. Hightower 13 54 4.2 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Detroit E. Ebron 4 79 19.8 0
New Orleans B. Cooks 10 124 12.4 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Detroit G. Tate 2
New Orleans M. Colston 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Detroit M. Stafford 66.8 2883 19 5
New Orleans D. Brees 71.5 3587 30 8
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Detroit T. Riddick 88 355 4.0 1
New Orleans M. Ingram 136 721 5.3 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Detroit M. Jones Jr. 42 730 17.4 4
New Orleans M. Thomas 65 789 12.1 7
Touchdowns Player TD
Detroit A. Boldin 6
New Orleans M. Ingram 7