Photos from the New Orleans Saints vs Detroit Lions game. Photos by Michael C. Hebert. (New Orleans Saints photos)
The New Orleans Saints staged a second-half rally but came up short against the Detroit Lions on "Monday Night Football" at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome as the Lions won 35-27.
The loss dropped the Saints to 5-9 while the Lions improved to 5-9. The Saints will host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at the Superdome.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford staked his team to a 21-3 lead with three touchdown passes and some pin-point accuracy. The Saints - thanks to a fumble recovery they quickly turned into a score - were able to climb as close as 28-20 before Detroit put the game away with a 1-yard Joique Bell touchdown run. The Saints scored a late touchdown on a 1-yard pass from Brees to tight end Ben Watson to provide the final margin.
Brees hit several milestones during the game - more than 60,000 passing yards (only fourth person ever), 10th consecutive 4,000-yard passing season (extending his own record) and passing for at least one touchdown in his 53rd consecutive home game (another record). He finished the game 34 for 51 for 341 yards. It also was his 94th game of 30 yards or more of passing, breaking a tie for first in NFL history with Peyton Manning.
Brandin Cooks was his top target with 10 receptions for 124 yards including a 27-yard TD grab that put Brees over the 60,000 mark. Tim Hightower led the team in rushing with 13 carries for 54 yards. Marques Colston had just two receptions but one was an 11-yard touchdown that made the score 28-20.
Stafford finished the game 22 of 25 for 254 and those three first-half touchdown passes. Golden Tate was his top target with six catches for 45 yards and two TDs. Running back Ameer Abdullah ran the ball nine times for 77 yards but had the fumble that linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha recovered.
The Saints had three sacks, two by Kasim Edebali and one by Cameron Jordan.