Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saints Nation: Pregame vs. Lions

The regular season kicks off today for the Saints in their matchup against the Detroit Lions in the Louisiana Superdome. Game time is 12 noon Central, 1pm Eastern.

Out for the Saints: Jammal Brown (hip), Pierre Thomas (knee), Darnell Dinkins (ankle).

The Saints will host in week 1 the Lions who went 0-16 last year. Dating back to 2007 they've lost 17 consecutive regular season matchups. This is a gimme and must win for the Saints. Last year behind 532 yards of offense, the Saints beat Detroit 42-7. The Lions has since drafted Matt Stafford at quarterback, who will start ahead of Daunte Culpepper for the first game. As the 30th ranked offense in the NFL last year, this should be a good way for the Saints' new defense to start. On the defensive side, The Lions ranked dead last last year as well as points given up, so it's a terrific matchup for the Saints and their potent offense. The Saints really cannot afford to lose this one. The Lions figure to be slightly improved defensively with the offseason additions of veterans Philip Buchannon, Grady Jackson, Larry Foote, and Anthony Henry - but it should still be a weakness.

The Lions also have a few players Saints fans will be familiar with in former Saint Terrelle Smith, former LSU guard Stephen Peterman, and Daniel Bullocks, brother of former Saint Josh Bullocks.

Saints Nation's Prediction: Saints 27, Lions 17. I think this game will be closer than some people think. I think Calvin Johnson will make some plays, and I think the Lions will be in the game down a possession with the ball in the 4th quarter. Ultimately I think Stafford's inexperience will lead to a late turnover, but I expect the Saints to struggle a little bit early offensively before finding their rhythm and I expect their defense to give up a few plays.

Enjoy the game! I'll be in the Superdome and I'll be catching a flight directly afterward... so I'll do my best to update asap. Once I have a chance to review game tape I will post my grade for each starter on their performance.