The Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints are familiar enough with each other that they almost seem like division rivals at this point. The two teams have faced off for three straight years, and this game will be the eighth matchup since 2008.
At this point, the two teams are likely so familiar with each other and their (similar) offenses, that they probably know what’s coming on Sunday before it happens. While the personnel changes every year, these team’s identities have remained somewhat the same over the past few seasons.
With the teams so well acquainted with each other, it’s going to take the effort of a few individuals to tip the scales one way or another. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which Lions player will be the x-factor in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints?
My answer: Golden Tate.
If you listened to our First Byte preview podcast for the game, you may remember our guest, Bob Rose, bringing up the fact that Tate has been a Saints killer over the past few years. He was not exaggerating. Here are Tate’s statlines from the past three games in the series:
2016: 8 catches, 145 yards, 1 TD
2015: 6 catches, 45 yards, 2 TDs
2014: 10 catches, 154 yards, 1 TD
You can get the sense Tate is already excited to face off against this defense again:
The Saints defense is getting better and they’ve added a few youngsters in the secondary, but they aren’t there yet. I don’t believe they’ll have an answer for Tate, especially if Kenny Golladay is back and can push Tate into the slot, where he’s the most dangerous.