The Lions and Saints played the most explosive game on Sunday. It was perfect for fans of high-scoring games, with the Saints winning Sunday’s biggest shootout, 52-38.
New Orleans got out to a big lead early, but the Lions refused to go away. We saw the kind of offensive touchdowns we’re used to from these teams, but we also had three tipped passes that went for pick-sixes, and there were 90 combined points. That’s enough to fill your entire Sunday.
The great thing about this game too — Stafford has been dealing with an ankle injury and likely wasn’t 100 percent and still helped the Lions stay in the game.
Meanwhile, the Saints scored 52 points, and somehow Drew Brees — master of throwing for all the yards in the world — had only 186 and two touchdowns. The Saints also hadn’t turned the ball over all season. They were a week away from setting an NFL record, until they turned it over three times in just the second half.
Here’s the five most ridiculous things from the game.
Ridiculous thing No. 1: All the tipped passes
Matthew Stafford passes — even the incomplete ones — were almost always hitting the hands of somebody. In this case, that’s not exactly great, because that means that the defensive line was getting great pressure and impeding his line of sight.
Stafford had nine passes batted at or behind the line of scrimmage today, according to ESPN Stats & Info. It was the most by any QB in a game since batted passes started being tracked in 2009. Two of those were intercepted for touchdowns.
It wasn’t just Stafford either. Here was a Brees tipped pass that was taken back for a pick-six, which also put the Lions within seven points in the latter end of the fourth quarter:
If only they were bartenders, am I right?
Ridiculous thing No. 2: The Saints defense actually made plays!
The Saints defense has been consistently one of the worst in the NFL under Sean Payton for the past five seasons.
Last season, the team was 27th in the NFL in total defense, and it led to the Saints deciding to finally take steps this offseason to improve it, like drafting Marshon Lattimore out of Ohio State, who had an interception for a touchdown on Sunday.
On Sunday, the defense still gave up 38 points and 347 total yards but made plays that were able to separate the Saints from the Lions:
The @Saints have 3 defensive TD in a game for the 1st time in team history.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 15, 2017
1st team with 3 def TD in a game since 2011 Week 4 (Ravens).
Of course that’s not just good for the Saints, seeing as that hasn’t happened since 2011.
The Saints offense is always going to put up points and rack up yards, but the team is a different type of threat in the NFC when it’s doing things well defensively. The Saints have a winning record and are right in the thick of the NFC South race, especially with Panthers and Falcons losses this week. Perhaps that window isn’t as closed as some might have believed coming into this season.
Ridiculous thing No. 3: This Marvin Jones catch
Marvin Jones is one of the leaders the Lions look to for dope celebrations, along with Golden Tate — but he’s also a good receiver. He started off last season leading the league in receiving and nearly finished with his first 1,000 yard season receiving, as Stafford made his case for NFL MVP last year.
He showed what he’s capable of with this catch, where Saints cornerback Ken Crawley takes a swipe at his jersey, which still wasn’t enough to stop him:
The recoil when Crawley let go of the jersey shows the pressure that Jones was under to actually make that catch. That’s some incredible athleticism — and laser focus.
Ridiculous thing No. 4: The Saints were destroying the Lions, until they weren’t
The Saints were up 45-10 on the Lions midway through the third quarter. A Kenny Vaccaro fumble recovery for a touchdown got the Saints on the scoreboard with their first touchdown of the game, and they didn’t look back.
However, the Lions would make a push. They scored 28 unanswered points, starting in the third quarter. Stafford threw a pair of 22-yard touchdown passes to Jones and Darren Fells and then this 74-yard punt return for a touchdown by Jamal Agnew.
As one of the more unlucky and losing teams in NFL history, the Lions’ hot streak was snapped after Stafford threw an interception to Cameron Jordan that went for a touchdown to make it 52-38, after an Agnew muffed punt that was recovered at the 1-yard line.
The Lions, down a touchdown, had five minutes to tie the game, but the pick-six essentially sealed it for the Saints.
We wouldn’t be against seeing at least one game like this every week. Offense is good, no matter how much your Old Football Fan family member claims to like a defensive struggle and 13-7 game. But we also got unusual scoring multiple times. Anybody can enjoy that.
Ridiculous thing No. 5: Scorigami!
The 52-38 final score was the first of its kind in NFL history — what we like to call Scorigami around these parts, thanks to Jon Bois.
In short, there was a lot that went on in this game:
Lions-Saints— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) October 15, 2017
4 non-offensive TD
Since the 52-38 final score has now been accomplished, there are now 403 scores that have yet to be seen in NFL history.