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Sunday open thread: Should the Lions abandon the run game vs. Saints?

The Saints’ secondary is hurting. Now is the time to let it rain.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

If we’ve learned anything about Matt Patricia and this Detroit Lions team it’s that establishing the run game is very important for this offense. The amount of resources the Lions have put into improving that phase of their game has made that apparent. However, judging their matchup against the Saints on Sunday, it might be time for the Lions to lean heavily into their passing game if they want to pull out a win.

Last year, the Saints defense ranked fifth in the league in rush defense DVOA, according to Football Outsiders. This year, they’re at about the same mark ranking sixth. Their pass defense, however, is ranked 21st in the league. If you want to score points on the Saints, you need to throw the ball, and fortunately for the Lions, two of New Orleans’ starting cornerbacks will not be suiting up for Sunday’s game. It’s time for Matthew Stafford and company to eat.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Should the Lions abandon the run game against the Saints?

My answer: For all of the reasons stated above, I believe the Lions should come out throwing the ball early and often. Forget about running the ball on first down. Forget about draining the clock in the fourth quarter if they have a lead and running late in the game. I don’t even care if they decide to not run the ball a single time.

This Saints secondary is hurting and it’s hurting badly. I want to see Stafford attacking the outside and going after their backup corners and I think that will be the key to winning this matchup. I still don’t trust this Lions defense, so they’re going to have to put up some numbers on Sunday if they plan on heading into the bye week at 2-2.

Your turn.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.