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Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints each treading in unfamiliar territory

By LARRY LAGE

AP Sports Writer

DETROIT — The New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions are in unfamiliar territory.

New Orleans has lost consecutive games for the first time in three years and Detroit just ended an 11-game, 11-month losing streak.

The matchup of teams with 1-2 records on Sunday at Ford Field may prove to be pivotal.

With running back Alvin Kamara on a tear, a win would help the Saints stay within at least a game of NFC South-leading Tampa Bay.

“I don’t think there’s a sense of panic or anything like that or doubt, but we also understand this puts us almost a quarter of the way through the season,” New Orleans safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “You can’t afford to drop ones, especially ones that you feel like you’re supposed to win.”

Detroit is in relatively desperate need to earn two straight victories — under embattled coach Matt Patricia — going into its bye week in part because Green Bay and Chicago are undefeated atop the NFC North.

“It’s a huge difference between being 2-2 and the alternative,” Lions running back Adrian Peterson acknowledged.

TRU-LY HELPFUL

The Lions leaned on veteran cornerback Desmond Trufant this week, hoping his 12 games of experience with Atlanta against New Orleans would assist in their preparation.

“It’s been fun to talk to him about this offense and some of the players that they have, certainly that’s been a big help so far,” Patricia said. “He definitely has a lot of really good knowledge.”

The 30-year-old Trufant, who signed a $20 million, two-year contract in Detroit after the Falcons released him, might also be able to help on the field after missing the previous two games with a hamstring injury.