Detroit, MI- The leading offense went up against the leading defense on Sunday, Oct. 19 in Detroit’s Ford Field, and it was everything you expected from start to finish. The Lions overcame a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter and made key plays on defense to pull off yet another comeback victory. Last year, the Lions had one of the most memorable comebacks as they overcame a 21 point deficit against the Dallas Cowboys to win 31-30. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 299 yards with two touchdowns, none bigger than to Golden Tate in the fourth quarter. Tate, who leads the NFL in yards after the catch, was able to take a five yard reception and turn it into a 73-yard score that cut the deficit to 23-17. Tate hit career highs in catches with 10, and yards with 153.
After forcing New Orleans to punt, the Lions were marching down field when Stafford’s pass to tight end Jordan Thompson deflected off his hands right into Kenny Vaccaro’s of New Orleans. It was Stafford’s second interception of the afternoon, but luckily the Lions were able to hold New Orleans to a field goal. When New Orleans had possession again, the Lions needed to make a big play on defense to ensure they had a chance. Safety Glover Quinn made that happen when he intercepted a pass from Saints quarterback Drew Brees on third down and returned it into Lions territory. When asked about the interception, Quinn reiterated that. “We knew on third down that Drew likes to go to the sticks and he likes to throw it in the middle of the field”.
That turnover lead to the biggest possession for the Lions as they had the ball at their own 14 yard line. The key play that drive was fourth-and-5 from the 9 yard line, when Stafford threw a pass to running back Reggie Bush that fell incomplete. However, Saints safety Rafael Bush was called for pass interference that gave the ball back to Detroit at the 5 yard line. This time, it was third down and with time running out, Stafford connected with receiver Corey Fuller in the back of the end zone that gave the Lions their first lead of the game 24-23. Cornerback Darius Slay made the key play on fourth down to end the game for the Saints.
The Lions were without Calvin Johnson for the second straight game with an ankle injury and the Saints did not start tight end Jimmy Graham because of a shoulder injury. Next up for the Lions is a special game in London against the Atlanta Falcons with a 9:30am kickoff. The Saints’ next game is against Green Bay.