While there was some improvement, the 2009 edition of the Detroit Lions looked quite a bit like the '08 version of the team during today's game against the Saints. As expected, Drew Brees had a field day and tore apart the Lions' secondary. He ended up with 6 touchdowns in all, which set a new career high for him. He wasn't the only one who had a great game for the Saints on offense, though, as Mike Bell, who was filling in for Pierre Thomas, ran for 143 yards on 28 carries. The Saints' high-powered offense racked up for 45 points on the day, showing that the Lions' defense has a ton of work to do.
Despite putting up 27 points (one touchdown was a Louis Delmas fumble return), the Lions' offense did not play well at all save a few plays. More than anything, they squandered numerous opportunities and had a tough time moving the ball both through the air and on the ground. Matthew Stafford especially struggled, as he threw three interceptions and went 16-37 on the day. He did throw for 205 yards and scored a touchdown on a QB sneak, but the story of the day for him was the interceptions.
The score does not represent how this game went in a couple of different ways. For one, the Saints outplayed the Lions on both sides of the ball. In that sense, the Lions were lucky to only lose by a score of 45-27. On the other hand, the Lions had a couple of opportunities where they got the ball deep in Saints territory and came away with either nothing or only a field goal. Only good teams can afford to squander those types of opportunities, and it ultimately cost the Lions a chance to make this a close game. The Lions' special teams did play great and had a couple of big returns, but that was the only unit that played well in my opinion. To put it bluntly, the Lions have a lot of work to do before they will win a game.