Detroit Lions blow early lead again, fall to Saints by six

The Detroit Lions coughed up a large early lead as the Saints scored 35 straight points to down the Pride

In a game that almost wasn’t played, the Detroit Lions’ defense made sure to pick up on their old habits. Their inability to slow down a shorthanded opponent may have left them with another lost season.

The Lions blew another double-digit lead, their third this year, surrendering touchdowns on five consecutive possessions in a 35-19 home loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. At 1-3 approaching their bye week, this season may already be a wash raising serious concerns about the Lions’ current management regime.

The Saints were without several key players, including All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas and Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

After converting on a pair of third-and-longs on the game’s opening possession, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford found rookie tailback D’Andre Swift on a for a seven-yard touchdown toss, giving the Lions an early 7-0 lead.

After cornerback Darryl Roberts picked off Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ first passing attempt off of a deflection, Stafford found wideout Kenny Golladay for a 15-yard scoring grab, giving the Lions a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the game. It was Golladay’s second straight week with a touchdown reception after missing the first two games of the year with a hamstring injury.

It took the Saints just two drives to tie the game, as the Lions’ struggles with holding leads continued to haunt them. Running backs Latavius Murray and Alvin Kamara both scored on a pair of short touchdown runs to knot it at 14 less than five minutes into the second frame.

But they weren’t finished there. After Stafford was intercepted in the Saints’ end zone, Brees drove New Orleans right down the field and found receiver Tre’Quan Smith for a two-yard touchdown reception, giving the Saints their first lead of the game.

After a quick three-and-out by the Lions and a pair of costly penalties, Brees found Smith in the end zone yet again from 20 yards out right before halftime.

The Saints scored their fifth straight touchdown on their first series after halftime, as Murray again punched it in on a six-yard rush to push the advantage to 35-21.

The lead was cut to six by the Lions thanks to a pair of second-half touchdowns, but the Saints converted a pair of critical third downs late in the fourth quarter, leaving the Lions unable to stop the clock with no timeouts left.

Both teams got a scare late on Saturday night when it was revealed that Saints fullback Michael Burton had received a positive COVID-19 test, which could have put today’s game into jeopardy. Fortunately, that test was determined to be a “false positive”, allowing the game to be played as scheduled.

The Detroit Lions return from their Week 5 bye when they travel to face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, October 18th at 1:00 P.M. EDT.