Something’s got to give: Lions create turnovers, Saints excel at ball security

Detroit has 11 takeaways in 5 games

ALLEN PARK — Something’s got to give when the Lions play the Saints on Sunday in New Orleans.

The Lions’ defense has 11 takeaways in five games — seven interceptions and four fumble recoveries.

Meanwhile the Saints have yet to commit a turnover. Quarterback Drew Brees has thrown eight touchdowns and zero interception. No fumbles.

“There’s a lot of things going right for you not to have at least one turnover. I haven’t watched every play of every (Saints) game, turnovers happen for all different reasons. Guys drop a pass or tip a pass and it gets intercepted. It could be a good throw, the guy just maybe didn’t hold onto it right or a running back gets ahead and fumbles,’’ Lions safety Glover Quin said. “Just because you fumble doesn’t mean it’s a turnover. The other team has to cover it. There’s a lot of factors that go into getting a turnover and not getting a turnover.’’

Quin should know. So far in five games he has a pair of interceptions and two forced fumbles.

Ball security has been an emphasis in Detroit. The Lions have given up just two — an interception by Matthew Stafford in the opener and a lost fumble in the loss to the Panthers.

Apparently Saints coach Sean Payton has made it a priority also.

“I hope it’s our overall awareness and I hope we’re doing a better job coaching it and I hope that as we get into games, you’re trying to not to be one-dimensional. I think that there’s times when you fall behind early in the season against Minnesota. The last it seemed like eight, 10 minutes we were in a hurry-up pass mode,’’ Payton said in a conference call on Wednesday. “But I think that probably for him (Drew Brees) I know (ball security) was (key) going into the season. A goal of us collectively as a team, possessing the ball better on offense, and helping our defense with a little bit more balance, and yet still recognizing how we want to play each game.”

The Saints could be due for a turnover or two.

“Hopefully the law of averages will prevail, hopefully (the Saints) are due to catch up,’’ Quin said.

It’s just another challenge for the Lions’ defense.

“I don’t think there’s any remedy for what they do. They take care of the ball. They just have not turned it over at all, I think they’re right around where we are in terms of turnover ratio, so you’re going to have a battle of two teams that haven’t turned it over very much, and so that’s going to be really I think the difference in the ball game,’’ coach Jim Caldwell said. “But, it’s an area that we have continued to work on. We work on taking it away, we work on taking care of it, and they do the same thing and they’ve done a great job at it thus far.”

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Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on Amazon.com. She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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