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Overnight thoughts on the Lions' 35-27 win over the Saints

Quick analysis of the Detroit Lions' fifth victory of the year.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

  • Aside from a few questionable decisions in the pocket, Matthew Stafford played a near-flawless game:
  • Perhaps the biggest play of the game may end up being completely overlooked. Golden Tate's third down reception on the Detroit Lions' final touchdown drive of the game was absolutely enormous. If Tate doesn't snag that poorly thrown ball, the Lions punt from their own 30-yard line with over eight minutes remaining, up just 28-20. Instead, the catch extended the drive, and the Lions later pushed their lead to 35-20 with just 5:24 remaining. 

  • Anything said about the offense needs to be prefaced by the "Saints have the worst defense in the league" clause, but this is still very nice to see: The Lions finished with 150 rushing yards on 23 carries (6.5 yards per carry).

  • You cannot say enough about how well this Lions secondary has played over the past two months. Sure Drew Brees started to get things going late in the second half, but Detroit was still challenging nearly every pass and breaking up catches all the way into the fourth quarter. Darius Slay and Quandre Diggs look enormously impressive.

  • That being said, Glover Quin's absence was extremely noticeable:
  • That's a really bad way to lose your field goal perfection, Matt Prater

  • I know it's easy to kill Ameer Abdullah for that crucial fumble, but the good in Abdullah easily outweighed the bad. Abdullah had a career high in rushing yards (77, 8.6 YPC), 1 touchdown and averaged 30.8 yards per kickoff return.

  • Calvin Johnson was again a non-factor in this game. The Lions offense scored 35 points and put up nearly 400 yards without him, so it's hard to complain. But one has to wonder what Calvin's role will be with this team next year. 

  • I don't need a reason to post this again: