Stafford leads Lions to win in New Orleans

Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:17am EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - Detriot quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 22 of 25 passes for 254 yards and three first-half touchdowns to lift the Lions to a 35-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday.

The Lions (5-9) held the Saints without points on five cracks inside the 5-yard line at the end of the first half and built a 28-3 lead early in the second, though they allowed the Saints (5-9) to score 17 consecutive points to close to 28-20.

Detroit then iced the game with a 76-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard scoring run by Joique Bell with 5:24 left.

Drew Brees' 1-yard pass to tight end Benjamin Watson made it 35-27 with 1:55 remaining, but Detroit's Calvin Johnson recovered the onside kick. Abdullah ripped off a 36-yard run to the New Orleans 9 and the Lions killed most of the clock, but kicker Matt Prater missed a 35-yard chip shot with nine seconds left.

Detroit led 21-3 at halftime and then scored on the first series of the second half on running back Ameer Abdullah's 15-yard run around left end to cap a six-play, 78-yard drive.

The Saints responded with 17 points over the next 9:57 on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Brandin Cooks, a 22-yard field goal by Kai Forbath, and an 11-yard Brees strike to Marques Colston, cutting the deficit to 28-20 with 10:06 left.

Colston's score was set up by Abdullah's fumble, which linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha forced and recovered at the Detroit 38.

But the Lions put the game away on Bell's 1-yard run with 5:24 left, making it 35-20. Abdullah made the big play on the drive, converting a third-and-1 with a 21-yard run on a quick pitch around right end to the New Orleans 24.

Stafford shredded the Saints' porous secondary in the first half, completing 12 of 13 passes for 142 yards and three touchdowns as Detroit raced to a 21-3 halftime lead.   Continued...

Dec 21, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) against the New Orleans Saints during the second quarter a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports