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Saints Win Fourth Straight with 31-17 Victory Over Lions

Posted Dec 4, 2011

Brees tosses for 342 yards and three touchdowns

The Saints won their fourth straight game and remained undefeated (6-0) at home this season with a 31-17 win over the Lions Sunday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

QB Drew Brees led the way by passing for 26 of 32 for 343 yards and three touchdowns for a 129.6 rating.

Brees’ scoring strikes went to WR Robert Meachem (67 yards), WR Lance Moore (20 yards) and RB Darren Sproles (six yards).

RB Mark Ingram also found his way to the endzone on a 14-yard run in the second quarter. Ingram led the Saints in rushing with 54 yards on 16 carries.

TE Jimmy Graham led New Orleans in receiving with eight receptions for 89 yards. Graham’s season receiving yards total stands at 1,046 marks, making him the first Saints tight end to surpass 1,000 yards.

CB Jabari Greer, S Malcolm Jenkins and LB Jonathan Vilma each had six total tackles to lead the Saints.
 
After New Orleans was forced to punt on their first drive, they did not allow the Lions to advance past their 19-yard line. Following a punt by Detroit P Ben Graham, that gave the Saints possession at their 37, Brees led the Saints on a 13-play, 36-yard drive, where the Saints got into field goal range on a 12-yard completion to Graham.

K John Kasay would kick a 39-yard field goal to give New Orleans the lead.

Detroit would start at their 25, but would only get as far as their 39 as Graham was summoned out again. New Orleans would be faced with starting position at their three after the punt was downed by Lions LB Bobby Carpenter. On a third and four play from their nine, Brees completed a pass for a 38-yard gain to Meachem.

Ingram then carried for a four-yard gain to advance to the New Orleans 47. The Saints advanced into Detroit territory on a three-yard completion to WR Marques Colston. On third-and-three, a defensive pass interference penalty on Detroit CB Eric Wright resulted in a first down. Following a one-yard run by Sproles, Brees then completed a throw for a gain of 18 yards to Colston. An eight-yard rush by Meachem, pushed the Saints into the red zone and then Ingram carried for a 14-yard gain into the end zone.

Detroit started at their 20-yard line on their next drive, On a second down play, Lions QB Matt Stafford was sacked by LB Scott Shanle for a loss of seven yards. However, the Lions would move the change when Stafford and RB Kevin Smith connected on a completion for a gain of 18 yards. However, the Saints would then stop the Lions on three subsequent plays and New Orleans would have starting position following Detroit’s punt at their 25-yard line.

After RB Pierre Thomas rushed for an eight-yard gain, Brees and Meachem connected on a 67-yard scoring play to put New Orleans up 17-0.

Detroit would start up again at their 20, where Stafford would throw a short pass to Smith for a nine-yard gain. The first down was then converted on a 17-yard completion from Stafford to WR Nate Burleson. The Lions then moved into New Orleans territory on a five-yard completion to WR Calvin Johnson. A six-yard run by Smith was followed by a short pass to Lions RB Maurice Morris for a gain of 11 yards. The drive would eventually end inside the ten with a two-yard run into the end zone by Smith, who wasn’t even with the team a month ago.

Starting at the 20, Brees completed a throw for a gain of 13 to Colston. He then completed a throw to Sproles who was forced out of bounds by Lions CB Aaron Berry at the 38 after gaining five yards. At a third and four situation, Brees found Graham for a ten-yard gain. After Brees was sacked on the next first down, a short pass was completed to Sproles for a gain of 22 yards. Following another 12-yard pass play to the running back, Brees found WR Lance Moore for a 20-yard touchdown.

Detroit would start at their 27 with 22 seconds left and Stafford completed a pass to WR Titus Young for a gain of 49 yards to the New Orleans 24, however, as time expired K Jason Hanson’s 42-yard field goal attempt was blocked by CB Patrick Robinson.

The Lions would get the ball coming out at the half and Stafford would lead the Lions on a ten-play, 67-yard drive that ended with a 31-yard field goal by Hanson.

On their next drive, New Orleans would advance to the Detroit 42-yard line, but ended up being stymied there, forcing P Thomas Morstead out, who hit a 30-yard punt where it Lions WR Stefon Logan called for a fair catch at the 12.

Detroit’s third year quarterback then led the Lions on a 9-play, 92-yard drive that ended with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Morris. The highlight of the drive was a 36-yard pass play between Stafford and TE Tony Scheffler that put the Lions inside the ten yards line.

New Orleans experienced a three-and-out and were forced to punt, however an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Logan on the special teams play tacked them 15 yards back to the 18-yard line on Morstead’s 46-yard kick.  On the first play of the drive, Stafford completed a 47-yard throw to Burleson over CB Tracy Porter.

With the ball at the 35 though, Morris was stopped for a two-yard loss by DT Aubrayo Franklin. The second down pass intended for Burleson was incomplete. Facing third-and-12, Stafford attempted a screen pass intended for Johnson that was broken up by LB Ramon Humber, sending Hanson out to attempt a 55-yard field goal, that was wide left and would give the Saints the ball back at their 45-yard line.
 
A first down attempt by Brees attempted for Colston was successfully defended by the Lions in tight coverage. Brees then completed a short throw to Graham for a gain of three yards to the 48-yard line. The quarterback and tight end then connected on a pair of throws for first downs. Ingram took a carry from the 22 and gained three yards to move into the red zone before he was tackled by Berry.  Another throw for a gain of 13 yards was completed to Graham, setting up first and goal at the six followed by  six-yard touchdown pass to Sproles to put the Saints up by two touchdowns again.

Detroit would start at their 22 and Stafford completed a pass to Johnson for a gain of six yards before he was tackled by Harper. A second consecutive pass was completed to the wideout for a gain of 13 before he was tackled by CB Jabari Greer, setting up first and ten at the 41, followed by a five-yard throw to Scheffler. That was followed by a rush by Lions LB Keiland Williams who gained 14 yards to the New Orleans 40 before he was tackled by S Malcolm Jenkins. Stafford then completed a short pass to Williams for a gain of seven, before he was pushed out of bounds by Robinson. It was followed by a pass intended for Burleson, but on the play, he was called for a pass interference penalty, setting the Lions back at the 43. Stafford’s second down throw intended for Morris was incomplete, setting up third and 13. With the New Orleans pass rush in full gear, Stafford missed a potential connection to Morris, forcing the punt unit out. Sproles would call for a fair catch at the 14-yard line.

On the Lions last attempt at a comeback, they had the ball at their 39-yard line on 4th-and-two with 3:08 remaining when Stafford was intercepted by Porter.

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