LIONS INSIDER

RECAP: Lions at Saints

Posted Dec 4, 2016

Tim Twentyman recaps the Detroit Lions' 28-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

What happened: For the first time this season, a fourth-quarter comeback wasn’t necessary for the Lions to secure a victory.

No Matthew Stafford heroics. No late-game interception to clinch it. No Matt Prater magic late with less than two minutes to go.

The Lions played their most complete football game of the season in all three phases, and took care of the Saints 28-13 in New Orleans to capture a huge road win and improve their record to 8-4 on the season.

The Saints' offense entered the game averaging more than 400 yards (first in NFL) and 30 points per game (second), but was held to 369 and 13 on Sunday. It was Detroit’s sixth-straight game holding an opponent to 20 points or less.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes to Theo Riddick (1 yard) and Golden Tate (66-yards), and Matt Prater was a perfect 5-for-5 kicking field goals (27, 29, 32, 27, 52).

FGs vs. TDs: Five of Detroit’s first six drives of the game entered the Saints’ red zone, but the Lions scored a touchdown on just one of those drives, settling for field goals on the other four.

The Lions entered the game ranked 11th in red zone efficiency at 62.1 percent.

Fortunately for Detroit’s offense, their defense had their back all day.

QB Comparison: There’s something about playing in the Superdome that suits Stafford. Last year in New Orleans, Stafford was 22-of-25 for 254 yards with three touchdowns. Fast forward one year, and Stafford was good again in the dome. He completed 30 of his 42 passes for 341 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 111.3 passer rating.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees was 31-of-44 passing for 326 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions. It breaks a streak of 60-plus games in which Brees has thrown at least one touchdown at home.

Third and long: The Lions were 5-of-12 on third down, which was OK, but it was the type of third-down conversions that were impressive.

Stafford completed to Eric Ebron for 12 yards on a 3rd and 11. Stafford hit TJ Jones on a 3rd and 16 for 36 yards down the left sideline. Stafford faced 3rd and 10 in the fourth quarter and connected with Golden Tate down the right sideline for a 66-yard touchdown.

Mr. Automatic: Fresh off his NFC Player of the Week and Player of the Month awards, Prater was a perfect 5-for-5 kicking field goals against the Saints.

Prater is now 26-of-29 on the year. He’s the first Lions kicker to record five field goals in a single game since Jason Hanson back in 2003 against Green Bay.

Injury report: The Lions lost running back Dwayne Washington to an ankle injury.

Slot cornerback Quandre Diggs left the game with a shoulder injury and didn’t return.