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Lions face tough task against turnover-free Saints

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Turnovers have been a critical component of the Detroit Lions’ early-season success. In the team’s three victories, they generated eight takeaways, while giving it back twice in those games.

The turnovers unexpectedly dried up last week in a loss to Carolina, despite the Panthers coming to town as one of the NFL’s more careless teams with the ball. The Lions will look to get back on track this week, but it won’t be easy.

The New Orleans Saints, who have played four games and are coming off their bye, are the only team in the NFL who hasn’t turned the ball over.

Quarterback Drew Brees has generally been good at limiting his mistakes throughout his career. His 2.5 percent interception rate ranks 16th all time. But given how often the Saints throw, he’s still averaged 15 per season during his past 11 years with the organization and never fewer than 11.


As for fumbles, the Saints have been fortunate. They’ve put the ball on the turf three times, but managed to recover each so far.

“Hopefully the law of averages will prevail and hopefully they’re due to catch up,” Lions safety Glover Quin said.

The Lions defense, led by Quin, has had some success forcing turnovers against the Saints, taking it away five times in three games the past three seasons. Quin has intercepted Brees twice, including one in the fourth quarter that set up a game-winning drive in 2014.

Quin didn’t have a good answer for why he’s had success against Brees, who he called one of his favorite quarterbacks, but he’s hoping it continues Sunday.