Lions vs. Saints Recap: At the Movies


Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions fans were treated to the full range of emotions on Monday night. It was like going to the movie theater and not having to choose any particular flick when buying the ticket.

The game started like an Ang Lee period piece. Both teams came out as if the pregame meal involved sedatives and tryptophan.

Then someone called in Michael Bay to wake up the Detroit offense. All of the sudden, there were explosive plays. Things like this happened…

Four straight drives went for touchdowns, covering 252 yards on 26 total plays. Matthew Stafford was an artist in the red zone, a performance on par with Ed Harris’ brilliant turn as Jackson Pollock.

Meanwhile the defense was clamping down on the Saints offense like an NC-17 snuff film. Drew Brees barely topped 100 yards passing in the first half as Detroit’s defense suffocated the New Orleans offense like an unnecessary but entirely welcome Anaconda sequel. It was 28-3 after Detroit’s first drive of the third quarter.

That’s when the horror movie took over. Lions fans knew it was coming, but kept munching the buttery popcorn anyway. Just as you know the buxom ditz is going to suffer a spectacularly gruesome end, so too this game turned into yet another nightmare for Detroit.

The defense was badly wounded in losing safety Glover Quin to a concussion and end Ziggy Ansah to an indeterminate illness. Yes folks, Ziggy apparently fell victim to a zombie curse or something. Penalties and sacks slowed the offense to a crawl, like a bogeyman grabbing onto their legs. An Ameer Abdullah lost fumble put the entire Lions fandom in full-out terror mode. Chucky was even calling the game in the booth…

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When the Saints cut the score to 28-20, Lions fans knew what was coming. The horror movie turned into an ironic comedy, yet another atrocious Adam Sandler flick with completely one-dimensional characters, the editing of a 9-year-old and a plot so stupid it would never get green-lighted if it hadn’t been so lucrative the last 27 times we saw the same dang thing.

And then a wonderful thing happened. Matthew Stafford donned his superhero cape and the tragi-comedy morphed back into a feel-good epic. No. 9 was fantastic:

Stafford calmly led the Lions to a 9-play, 76-yard touchdown drive to put the team up 35-20. This was Superman flying around the earth and stopping the catastrophe. Detroit needed a hero, and Stafford delivered.

So did the young secondary. Jon Gruden displayed an almost Cousin Eddie creepy affection towards rookie CB Quandre Diggs for his strong play. Darius Slay broke up a few passes and was generally on point all night.

The running game gets a supporting actor nod, too. Detroit ran for 150 yards on 23 carries as both Joique Bell and Abdullah topped 70 yards while each scoring a TD. This was Ed Norton breaking onto the scene in Primal Fear, an unexpected and joyous performance to watch.

Of course it’s too little, too late for the 5-9 Lions. Still, a 35-28 road win on Monday Night Football is a nice present from the Lions to the long-suffering fans. It’s not Star Wars or anything, but it’s better than the pointless remake of Point Break.