Detroit Lions stun Saints with late comeback

The New Orleans Saints came out of the bye week looking like a brand-new team for 56 minutes. And then they collapsed in shocking fashion. The Detroit Lions scored 14 points in the final four minutes to beat the Saints 24-23. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Golden Tate deserves the game ball. On a day in which Matthew Stafford mostly couldn't shoot straight, Tate turned this game around by himself. Down 23-10 with under four minutes left, Tate took a routine short throw and turned it into a 73-yard touchdown. He finished with 154 yards on the day with a number of huge third-down grabs. Tate has been one of the most valuable receivers in the entire NFL this year. Really.
  1. This looked like a throwback game for Drew Brees until the fourth quarter. The Lions' pass rush rattled him late, and Brees had a stretch where he didn't complete a pass for 10 straight attempts, including a backbreaking interception to Glover Quin. Brees telegraphed the pass, setting up the Lions in the red zone for the go-ahead score. On a day in which Detroit's offense struggled to move the ball, it was an unforgivable mental mistake. Brees has forced too many passes this year.
  1. These are the types of games the Saints are used to closing out -- and the Lions are used to losing. But Mark Ingram only rushed for 16 yards on 10 attempts in his return, and the rest of New Orleans' run game wasn't much better. Detroit's defensive line was disruptive, finishing with six tackles for loss.
  1. The Saints' offense topped 400 yards, easily the most of any team this year against the Lions. Brees and the passing game looked like their old selves for most of the contest. They had plenty of time left to drive for a game-winning field goal, but the Lions' defense managed to disrupt Brees' timing and the Saints' routes to force a stop.
  1. Stafford did not play well despite the win. He almost never hits his receivers in stride, and his inaccurate tosses ended multiple drives. He held on to the ball too often and did not appear comfortable in the pocket. One mistimed throw bounced off a receiver's hands and was picked off in the end zone in the fourth quarter. (The game looked over at that stage.) Even Stafford's game-winner to Corey Fuller required an incredible play by his receiver.
  1. This was a huge swing game in the NFC. At 2-4, the Saints are going to be climbing out of a hole for a while. They are lucky to be in the NFC South. The 5-2 Lions only have one conference loss and are creating separation from Chicago in the NFC North.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Week 7 game, and breaks down Peyton Manning's record-breaking night. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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