The Lions will enter this much needed bye week resembling a M.A.S.H Unit, plagued by injuries on both sides of the ball. A big loss was that of defensive tackle Haloti Ngata who’s out for the remainder of the season. Ngnata was lost in last weeks’ loss to Carolina. The offensive line is most impacted, missing several key players, T.J Lang and Taylor Decker. Decker was sidelined before the season. Those injuries and the one that ended Greg Robinson’s day, made it was tough running and passing the ball. Stafford found himself under constant pressure all day as he was sacked five times, and took three hits on pressures resulting in five turnovers.
For the second Sunday in a row the Lions faced a played with Michigan ties who factored heavily in the game’s outcome. Former Heisman winner Mark Ingram Jr. starred at Flint SW Academy before going on the play at the University of Alabama. Ingram is the son of former MSU and New York Giants player Mark Ingram Sr. On the day Ingram scored twice and had 150 total yards from scrimmage (114 Rush 36 Rec).
In a game that seemed to be over as quick as it began, the Lions found themselves in a 31-10 hole at the half. The Saints and their Fans seemed to believe that they had sucked the life out of the Lions. In typical Lions fashion, Stafford and the Lions didn’t quit and stormed back pulling within one score of the Saints. Lions Fans came to life with a “Let’s Go Lions” chant that resonated throughout the Superdome. Those chants then were met with chorus of boos from the Saints Fans, which set off a battle between the two fan bases.
The Lions comeback was fueled by several big plays. Jamal Agnew took a punt and returned it 74 yards for the TD (31-45). The next would come with the Saints backed up to their own end zone. Drew Brees dropped back to pass only to be intercepted by 6’4 322 pound tackle A’Shawn Robinson who returned it for a two yard TD (38-45).
Turnovers plagued the Lions all day and Stafford had a hand in all five. He fumbled twice and was intercepted three times by the Saints’ defense. Three of the turnovers resulted in Saints scores. Alex Okafor sacked Stafford in the end zone forcing a fumble that was recovered by Kenny Vacarro giving the Saints an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Stafford was picked, when he threw behind Marvin Jones right into the hands of Marshon Lattimore who returned it 27 yards for the TD (45-10). The last would come at a crucial time as Detroit had fought its way back into the game. After the Robinson pick six, the Lions forced a Saints’ punt. Agnew muffed the punt which rolled into the end zone where he recovered it and returned it to the one-yard line preventing a safety.
With Lions backed up against the end zone Stafford dropped back on first down and threw a pick six into the hands of Cameron Jordan sealing the Lions’ fate. With the loss the Lions go into the bye week 3-3 and in third place in the division. If the Lions get healthy, they have a good chance at taking the division as the Packers lost Aaron Rodgers today on what appears to be a season ending injury.