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Lions vs. Saints preview podcast: Why Sam LaPorta may be key to victory

We chatted with Saints writer Matt Miguez, who thinks Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta will be key to victory over New Orleans.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions need to get back on track this week. The New Orleans Saints could very well be the easiest remaining matchup left on their schedule, and after last week’s performance, some are worried about an epic collapse down the stretch.

But the Saints aren’t exactly in a good spot right now, either. They’ve lost two in a row, and last week’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons dropped them out of the top spot in the NFC South.

To see if the Lions have a chance to get right this week, we had a good chat with Matt Miguez of our pals at Canal Street Chronicles.

The Saints' pass defense has actually been pretty darn good this year. They lead the league in pass breakups and rank second in interceptions, but Miguez believes that Detroit’s arsenal of weapons will be too much for New Orleans this Sunday.

“I’m confident that (the Saints) will be able to make things interesting for Jared Goff, but you guys have so many weapons,” Miguez said. “Amon-Ra St. Brown. Jameson Williams is still emerging, and then—we haven’t even talked about this yet—but the Saints have struggled over the last year or so to stop tight ends. Sam LaPorta has been incredible, absolutely incredible.”

LaPorta has been one of the most consistent weapons for the Lions this season. He’s caught at least three passes in every game this year and has at least 40 yards in eight of 11 contests. That said, he has yet to have a true breakout game, with his best output being an 84-yard performance against the Falcons way back in Week 3.

Miguez thinks LaPorta could be the key to victory for the Lions this week.

“Dan Campbell, I don’t know if you’re listening [editor’s note: he is not], throw the ball to Sam LaPorta like 15 times a game and you’re going to win,” Miguez said. “You will win on Sunday because the Saints just cannot stop tight ends. They have not been able to stop tight ends this year, and historically, they’ve done a nice job of that defensively. This year has been a completely different story, so Sam LaPorta is kind of my X-factor this game. How are the Lions able to get him involved? Because if he can get nine, 10 catches for 100-something yards and a touchdown or two, the Saints are in big trouble.”

You can listen to our entire chat below:

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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.