This was the game that started the unofficial "tough stretch" of the Lions’ schedule. They responded by shutting down the hottest offense in the league, holding them to just 13 points and forcing three turnovers in the form of interceptions.
Now, here’s a look at the Game Ball standings after Week 12:
17 - Matthew Stafford
6 - Theo Riddick
6 - Darius Slay
5 - Matt Prater
5 - Sam Martin
5 - Marvin Jones
5 - Eric Ebron
4 - Rafael Bush
3 - Andre Roberts
3 - Golden Tate
2 - Kerry Hyder
1 - Devin Taylor
1 - Ameer Abdullah
1 - Johnson Bademosi
1 - Miles Killebrew
1 - Anquan Boldin
And here are your game ball candidates for the Lions’ contest against the New Orleans Saints:
The MVP candidate had an absolutely masterful game. The Lions’ second drive of the afternoon, an eight-play series that went 92 yards, was beautifully orchestrated by Stafford. The name of the game today was time of possession and Stafford had the offense dictating the pace and control of this one. Stafford finished the game 30-for-42 for 341 yards and two touchdowns.
Detroit’s secondary has had a knack of making big plays to close out games, but Glover Quin came up huge for the Lions, making a pair of plays that truly changed the course of the contest. First, a pass defended on a deep throw by Drew Brees looking for Brandin Cooks down the field, and then a pass intercepted to give Detroit great field position.
With Marvin Jones sidelined with an injury, the Lions were short one of their weapons on offense. In his absence, Tate reminded us all why we all considered Tate to be a No. 1 wideout: eight catches for 145 yards, including a 66-yard catch for a touchdown that put the game out of hand.
He had four catches for forty yards, but man, on the drive where the Lions netted their fourth field goal of the day, Boldin made a couple of huge catches on consecutive third downs to take Detroit into the red zone.
Last, but certainly not least, Matt Prater was nothing but tried and true on Sunday against the Saints. When the Lions experienced some shortcomings in the red zone, Prater did nothing but come through and knock in field goals to continue to maintain a lead for the Lions. An important 52-yard field goal with 7:15 left in the fourth quarter made it a 15-point lead.