The New Orleans Saints have not had a record with a winning percentage better than .500 since finishing the 2013 season at 11-5.
In the three full seasons since, they have had a high-water mark of 4-4 each season and finished 7-9 each season.
Now they are 2-2 going into their game against the Detroit Lions on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. A win would not only put them over .500, but it would give them a three-game win streak. This is the seventh time in the last four seasons that the Saints have won consecutive games, but only once before have they extended the streak to three straight wins.
"I think the biggest thing is to win three games in a row," safety Kenny Vaccaro said after practice Wednesday. "That's when you're on a roll and not in a rut. Coach (Sean Payton) always talks about getting on a roll and getting wins stacked. It's a big thing for confidence in the team and you want to be a contender and not a pretender.
"You've got to win three. We always just win two. Two is OK - 'we see you' -- but then with three people start believing. That's going to be the big thing for this week."
Speaking of three-game win streaks, Detroit has beaten New Orleans in each of the last three seasons.
"I think the main thing for us is the Lions beat us the last three years," Vaccaro said. "That's the motivation, not the fact that we're going to be over .500. Any time you beat a team three times in a row they don't respect you and you've got to get your respect back."
The last two of the Lions' three wins against the Saints have come in the Superdome, where New Orleans has not had much of a home-field advantage during the last three years. The Saints are a combined 11-13 at home during that time, including 3-5 last season. In 2013, they went 8-0 at home.
"We need to play better at home," quarterback Drew Brees said. "There was a time when I think teams dreaded coming and playing in the Dome and there's no reason it can't be like that again.
"I feel like we are an ascending team who is continuing to play better. This will be a great test for us because I think that the Lions are a very good football team. Certainly, I'd say they'd have some confidence coming in knowing that they beat us the last three times."
SERIES HISTORY: 25th regular-season meeting. Lions lead series, 12-11-1. The Lions have won the last three meetings in the last three seasons, including a 28-13 triumph last season in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New Orleans is 8-5 in home games, which includes a 13-12 loss in the Alamodome in San Antonio in 2005 when the Saints were displaced because of Hurricane Katrina. The first meeting in New Orleans was memorable because Tom Dempsey kicked a then-NFL-record 63-yard field goal on the game's final play to give New Orleans a 19-17 victory in Tulane Stadium. New Orleans won the only playoff meeting, prevailing, 45-28, in a wild-card game in the Superdome after the 2011 season.
NOTES: The Saints are the only team in the NFL that hasn't turned the ball over this season. They'll be challenged to retain that distinction as they meet one of the better teams at taking the ball away. Detroit is tied for second in the league with a plus-8 turnover margin, which includes eight takeaways in its three wins. The Saints have turned the ball over five times in their three losses to Detroit the last three seasons.
T Terron Armstead, who has not played this season after undergoing shoulder surgery in June, was a limited participant in practice Wednesday.
WR Willie Snead IV (hamstring) said after practice that he will play Sunday despite being limited in practice.
RB Trey Edmunds (concussion), who could add a role on offense to his special-teams duties after the trade of Adrian Peterson, was a full participant.
TE Josh Hill (concussion) practiced fully.
CB Sterling Moore (pectoral) practiced fully.
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