RB Kevin Smith - Detroit Lions
|6-1, 217||Born: 12-17-1986||College: Central Florida||Drafted: Round 3|
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Week 7: vs New Orleans Saints
Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. Reports early this week indicated that Reggie Bush was held out of the game last week as a 'precaution', to make sure that his ankle would get healed up in time for this showdown with his old team, the Saints. Detroit won handily (17-3) at Minnesota so the strategy didn't cost the Lions in the 'W' column - also, it gave Joique Bell (18/74/1 rushing with 2/23/0 receiving) a chance to knock the rust off after he returned to action from a concussion. In short, it looks like the Lions will have their top two backs Bush (45/161/1 rushing with 20/142/0 receiving to date) and Bell (66/226/2 rushing with 11/96/0 receiving so far this year) back in action for an important NFC clash on Sunday at Ford Field. With Calvin Johnson looking iffy to play on his sprained ankle, the duo of backs could see a lot of work coming their way on Sunday.
The Saints' rush D is ranked 16th in the NFL averaging 112.0 yards allowed per game, with five rushing scores given up to date. They went into their Week 6 bye off a narrow 37-31 OT win over Tampa Bay, in which they allowed 21/66/1 rushing to the Buccaneers. Two games back DeMarco Murray and the Cowboys blew up this defensive front for 35/190/2 rushing - New Orleans' rush D has see-sawed through the early part of the NFL season, playing inconsistently as their season average illustrates.
The Lions have home field advantage and a so-so defensive front coming to town - we think the Lions have a slight edge in this matchup.
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