Sep 11, 2009

Saints vs. Lions

The Saints open their 2009 NFL season against the team that went 0-16 last year, the Detroit Lions. It would be typical Saints to lose this game to the Lions, but this isn't your typical Saints team. This team doesn't only want to win some games. Simply making the playoffs wouldn't satisfy this bunch either. No, this team is poised for a Super Bowl run.

Just a few short years ago, the Saints were one game away from the Super Bowl, but in those years since, the team and head coach Sean Payton have learned some lessons. Now the team has put the pieces in place for a defense to compliment the league's #1 offense. Gregg Williams has instilled a new attitude for the black and gold and look for guys like Jonathan Vilma, Malcolm Jenkins and Sedrick Ellis to shine in the new look D.

As for the Lions, the are bringing in their rookie QB Matthew Stafford to not only make his first NFL start, but his first road NFL start in one of the toughest environments to play, the Louisiana Superdome. The Lions do have one of the top receivers in the game in Calvin Johnson, who will provide a good test for the Saints new look secondary. They also bring in second year running back Kevin Smith, who is looking to make a name for himself after a solid rookie outing.

The unknown on the Lions is their defense with new coach Jim Schwartz. There are new pieces in place and this won't be the same Swiss cheese defense that the Saints torched 42-7 last December. There's also unknowns for the Saints, mainly the running game, which will be without Pierre Thomas, and left tackle, where Jermon Bushrod gets his first NFL action.

With all that said, look for the "Who-Dat Nation" to be out in full force and for the Saints to feed off of that energy. The defense wants to show the rest of the league that they've turned things around, and Drew Brees will continue to be Drew Brees and lead the offense through the air.

Lions 16
Saints 31

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