Smashed, trashed and bashed and all twisted from the nonsensical blather on what is technically a pregame show in ESPN, the essence of this recap stumbled into K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, a wonderful place of dreams built by a saint whose ghost lingers in the kitchen. The recap took a seat and helped itself to a wonderful four-course meal.
Turtle Soup (Cup): ground turtle meat, beef tenderloin, onions, bell peppers, celery, tomatoes and seasonings, simmered in a beef stock, which produces a rich soup. Finished with fresh spinach, chopped hard-boiled eggs and dry sherry.
A savory, hearty start to this evening in the Big Easy. Forget about Cafe Du Monde. That's for later, when the desperate and depraved stalk the streets. We want the best. Ah. Yes, that. Delicious.
The Lions started strong. Spicy, with exquisite field position to start the drive. Each component was savory; Calvin Johnson's rarefied catch for this game, contribution from Burton at fullback, and Golden Tate to bring it together in the endzone. It had a long, drawn out aftertaste as the Lions forced a long drive from the Saints before holding them to a field goal.
Roasted pear, pecan, and bleu cheese salad: sliced, roasted fresh pears with fresh roasted pecans and crumbled bleu cheese, served on a bed of mixed greens with a white balsamic, honey-lime vinaigrette dressing.
Surprising, delicious and sweet for what should have been a lighter course. But sometimes, that's all you need. Two touchdowns as the Lions roared to take a seemingly commanding lead. It hit all the right spots: the fullback flavor was back again as Michael Burton caught a Matthew Stafford pass, making everyone wonder if you're still legally able to do that with a fullback in the modern NFL rules.
The defense began to assert its control over this meal. The Saints became hapless, wandering about in a stupor reserved for 7 a.m. on Bourbon Street. Looking to seal the matter, the Lions drew out their own drive over six minutes and change, going to a ground game that felt strange and peculiar, but satisfying to the palette. Abdullah, Bell and Riddick were all in command in the backfield. As before, the delicacy was capped off with a Golden Tate touchdown. The Lions would get the ball in the next half.
Classic Crawfish Etouffée: A classic combination of fresh Louisiana crawfish smothered in a brown gravy made with a rich seafood stock, browned flour, onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic & seasonings and served with rice veggies.
The main course began innocently enough. It was fulfilling, for the great payoff was there: Ameer Abdullah rushing for a touchdown. That put the Lions record for the year at five rushing TDs on the year. Kirk Cousins has five rushing touchdowns. But let that not ruin the meal here.
But something was rumbling. The recap began to wonder what it had consumed prior to walking into the kitchen. Drew Brees shook off the cobwebs and a bad hit, and the Lions defense began to wonder what it was without Glover Quin. Brees began to scythe the secondary, challenging all he came across. The 27-yard pass to Brandin Cooks for the touchdown only confirmed that something was amiss bodily. Fans began to scream and wail. They professed to have seen this coming. They always do.
Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce (A New Orleans tradition): A mixture of breads soaked in a rich custard and baked with raisins and pecans to make a moist dessert served with a hard sauce.
Ah, but the worst of the night comes desert. Not that it wasn't delectable in the end, but at this point one should know their limits. The Lions, and this recap, did not, and pushed onwards. They tried to dig in.
They felt the first kick as an early Saints drive put in a field goal. Then, as if mandated by cruel fate, Ameer Abdullah fumbled the football and the Saints starting to beat and wail and terrorize the stomach. Tim Hightower began to churn and curdle right before Brees found Marques Colston.
Antacid. It has to be here somewhere. Eric Ebron caught a high pass from Stafford and on for 18 yards, with a touchdown ripped away by a mere yard. Joique Bell would pick it off for him, and the Lions had another rushing touchdown. This night was far from over when it came to such insanity.
No effect right now. Drew Brees cut through the defense like it was nothing all over again. 4th down conversions struck true as Brees and Ben Watson drew closer and closer to the endzone and time began to expire. An unfortunate unnecessary roughness call put them close enough to smell the dirt. With under two minutes remaining, the Saints scored and moaning began across Lionsland, a real country.
But back at the meal, the recap had to stand up and walk swiftly for the restrooms. It was wobbly, it felt it in the throat. The onside kick was coming. And there it was! But Calvin Johnson was there, and he didn't fumble this time, and the sensation of nausea subsided.
A second kick came in when Matt Prater missed his first field goal of the season, and a third when it looked like Drew Brees would start taking deep shots down the field, echoes of a game long past. But these were all they were. The sensations ended, and the recap returned to its table to finish the meal.
The moral of the lesson here is to never pregame in the French Quarter.