The 7-4 Detroit Lions took the field in the always-hard-to-win Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday afternoon against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Everyone expected a shootout, myself included. We have two of the great quarterbacks in the league dropping back, against two defenses that could be better.
When you are going against a quarterback such as Drew Brees the absolute best way to beat him is to not let him play. The Lions dominated the time of possession at 36:52 to 23:08, and most of the time Brees was on the field the Detroit defensive line was in his face, tipping three passes from the line and holding their dangerous running back duo of Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower to a collective 50 yards.
Glover Quin, Tavon Wilson, and Miles Killebrew all had interceptions, with Killebrew picking it off to end the game and solidify the Detroit Lions at 8-4 and keep them at the top of the NFC North standings. This was the first time that Drew Brees was held with no touchdowns and three interceptions since 2012. Also for those keeping track in the fantasy football world, the Lions held him to just nine points; his only single point game all season. Most of the completed passes were underneath slant routes as defensive coordinator Teryl Austin had his defense prepared to keep the Saints receiving corps in front of them all game. The longest play of the game on the New Orleans side of the ball came on a 39-yard connection between Brees and Brandin Cooks.
31/44 326 yards 0TD 3INT was the final stat line when the game ended. To the naked eye, 326 yards passing given up is not a very good day at work. However that is actually, to-the-yard, what Brees is averaging this season. You can even remove the three interceptions and the Detroit defense did their job well. The Saints offense totaled 369 yards of offense on the day. The time is now for the Lions, and the defense is stepping up not giving up more than 20 points in each of the last six games. Are they for real? It sure seems like it.