The Saints were seen as the one team that could fall victim to a Lions upset. They weren't in contention for a playoff spot, leading some to believe that they wouldn't come out firing against the Lions. Well, that thinking proved to be completely wrong, as the Saints came out firing the entire game. They scored a touchdown on their first six possessions, converted every third down except for when they were taking a knee at the end of the game, and held the Lions to only one touchdown.
This game was totally dominated by the Saints, who handed the Lions their 15th loss of the season. Never before has a team gone 0-15 to start a season until yesterday. The Lions were out of it from the very start of the game, and New Orleans never looked back.
- A kick return into Lions territory made it easy for the Saints offense to find the end zone. That's exactly what happened only five plays into the game, as Robert Meachem got the ball on a reverse and scored from 20 yards out.
- The Lions answered with a touchdown of their own to tie the game up, giving fans hope that this game would be different. Unfortunately, the touchdown was taken off the board due to an illegal formation penalty on Gosder Cherilus. That's right; an illegal formation penalty on an offensive lineman nullified a 43-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson. The Lions are 0-15 because of mistakes like this. There is simply no excuse for putting your team at a disadvantage because you can't line up properly.
The impact of the mistake was quite large, and that was evident on the very next play. Dan Orlovsky was intercepted at the 3-yard line, and although the pick was sort of like a punt downed near the goal line, it was another mistake that never should have happened.
- The Saints slowly worked their way down the field and eventually scored on a 2-yard Deuce McAllister run to complete the 17-play, 97-yard drive that lasted over eight minutes.
- The Lions did catch a break on their next drive. After having 2nd and goal from the 1 and not being able to score, the Lions went for it on 4th down from the 3. Orlovsky threw a bad pass to Michael Gaines that was incomplete. Thankfully, though, a pass interference penalty was called on New Orleans, giving the Lions a first down at the 1-yard line. Kevin Smith got into the end zone on the very next play to cut the lead in half.
- On their next drive, the Saints worked their way down the field a bit quicker than usual, mainly thanks to a 29-yard run by Pierre Thomas. The drive almost ended in a turnover, which really would have made things interesting. Mike Bell took a screen pass all the way down to the goal line and fumbled. Daniel Bullocks recovered it in the end zone, and the officials ruled that it was Detroit's ball. The Saints, however, challenged the play and got the call overturned, as Bell was clearly down before the ball came out.
Only two plays later Bell got the ball on a run and scampered into the end zone for another Saints touchdown. With three drives in the books, the Saints had already scored three touchdowns. They led 21-7.
- Following a quick three and out, the Saints again went down the field and scored. This scoring drive was made possible by a 32-yard pass to Devery Henderson on 3rd and 6. Two plays after the big play, Pierre Thomas ran for a 2-yard TD, giving the Saints a 28-7 lead.
- With less than a minute to go in the half, the Lions decided to run the ball on first down and let the clock run. It was only on second down that they opted to throw the ball. Even then it was a short pass intended to stop the clock, as Jerome Felton ran out of bounds after catching the ball for a gain of 5 yards.
On the third play of the drive the Lions finally went down the field, and they nearly did pull off a huge play. John Standeford had the ball in his hands around the Saints 13-yard line. In typical Lions fashion, Standeford dropped the pass, keeping Detroit at their own 33. Orlovsky was picked off on the next play, ending the half in a way that summed up just how bad the Lions are.
- After the Lions opened the second half with a punt, the Saints didn't have to do much to score a TD for the fifth time in five drives. Facing 1st and 15 on their own 30 after a false start penalty, the Saints decided to run a bootleg. The fake handoff on the bootleg fooled the Lions secondary in a big way. Devery Henderson was wide open with no one within 15 yards of him, allowing him to make an easy catch that resulted in a gain of 64 yards. Drew Brees found Marques Colston on the very next play for a 6-yard touchdown, truly making this game a blowout.
- The Lions failed to do anything offensively and had to punt the ball away yet again. They almost caught a break on the return when Lance Moore muffed the catch, but a Saints player fell on the fumble.
- On 3rd and 8, Brees completed a 30-yard pass to Colston, keeping the drive alive and picking up a big gain all at the same time. A 21-yard pass to tight end Billy Miller moved the Saints down to the Lions 6 on the next play, leading to a 3-yard touchdown pass on 3rd and goal a few plays later. The Saints now led 42-7, meaning they had scored a touchdown on the first six drives of the game.
- The Saints' streak did come to an end after another Lions punt. They were moving the ball down the field with ease yet again and looked like they would score yet again. However, Pierre Thomas was stripped by Cliff Avril at the Lions 24. Leigh Bodden immediately recovered the fumble to stop the Saints from scoring for the first time in the game.
- Drew Stanton came in at quarterback on the next Lions drive and led them into Saints territory on a 15-yard run on 3rd down. Kevin Smith got the ball on the next five plays and ran for a total of 20 yards. After an incomplete pass on 3rd and 4, the Lions faced 4th down and obviously opted to go for it. Stanton was way too impatient in the pocket and took off before he had to. He tried to scramble but was sacked for a loss of two yards, giving the ball back to New Orleans.
- The Saints got the ball back and ran out the clock. Surprisingly, Drew Brees was still in the game, and he even threw a couple passes in hopes of getting closer to Dan Marino's single-season yardage record. Brees did eventually take a knee three times to end the game. The only reason the Lions got credited for a stop on third down is because Brees took a knee. In reality, the Saints went 11/11 on third down, which is both astounding and pathetic at the same time. You can see why they won 42-7 in such dominating fashion.
As stated numerous times before, this 42-7 win by the Saints was very, very one-sided. That should be obvious based on the score alone, but you really had to follow the game live to truly realize how much better the Saints played. Drew Brees had all the time in the world in the pocket to drop back and find a receiver, which he did 30 out of the 40 times he threw a pass. Even the Saints' running game was successful. They ran for 181 yards, and four different players scored a rushing touchdown.
The Lions flat out stunk offensively. Aside from Kevin Smith's touchdown, the only other good offensive play didn't even count thanks to a penalty. The Lions could have tied the game up if it were not for that Cherilus penalty, and although I don't doubt that the Saints still would have won in blowout fashion, the Calvin Johnson TD could have at least delayed the blowout by another drive.
Now the only 0-15 team in NFL history, the Lions are one loss away from going winless. They will head to Lambeau Field next Sunday to play the Packers. It should be noted that the Lions haven't won in Green Bay since 1991, so there isn't any reason to expect a different outcome this time around. Let's face it; in all likelihood, the Lions are going to go 0-16. Sunday will be historic for all the wrong reasons, and the Lions will have officially hit rock bottom. I want to scrape together some hope for a different outcome, but I just hope they keep their 16th loss respectable. That's how little confidence I have in this team after yesterday's embarrassment.
Make sure to check out Pride of Detroit on Sunday for full coverage of the Lions' last game of the season. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on FOX, and as always, I will provide live updates in the game thread.