The 4-9 Detroit Lions travel to New Orleans to take on the 5-8 Saints in this week’s Monday night matchup. The Lions were defeated 21-14 by the St. Louis Rams while the Saints beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-17. With the win, New Orleans was able to stop a 4 game losing streak while the Lions have now lost both of their games played in December after finishing November with 3 straight wins.
Detroit’s offense struggled in the first half as they were not only shut out, but Matthew Stafford threw a pick-six in the second quarter giving the Rams a 7-0 lead. Stafford rebounded with 2 second half touchdowns but it wasn’t enough to get the win. He finished the game with a quarterback rating of 51.2 as he completed 30 of 46 passes for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception. He surpassed 25,000 passing yards in his 90th career game which is the fastest in NFL history. The offensive line wasn’t any help as he was sacked 4 times for a loss of 25 yards. His favorite target was Golden Tate who had 9 receptions for 60 yards and 2 touchdowns. Calvin Johnson was completely shut down as he caught only 1 pass for 16 yards. The run game had some success as the Lions gained 111 yards on 20 carries which is more than 5.5 yards per carry. Defensively, they played well but just couldn’t stop the run or Todd Gurley as the Rams had over 200 rushing yards. Gurley gained 140 yards on just 16 carries and scored both of their offensive touchdowns. The defense also limited the Rams to only 124 receiving yards and was able to intercept Case Keenum right before halftime in Lions territory.
The Saints played well on both sides of the ball as defensively they held the Buccaneers offense to only 297 total yards while their offense converted on 12 of their 17 third downs. Drew Brees was very efficient as he completed 31 of 41 passes for 312 yards and 2 touchdowns with 0 interceptions. His favorite target was Willie Snead who had 7 receptions for 122 yards. Marquis Colston also had a nice day as he caught 6 passes for 36 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. They had some trouble running the ball as they only gained 87 yards on 35 carries. Defensively, the secondary only allowed 182 receiving yards on 32 pass attempts by Jameis Winston. The defensive line had some issues with the run as Tampa Bay averaged over 6 yards per rush with 115 yards gained on only 19 carries. Tampa Bay didn’t have any offensive plays that went for more than 24 yards.
The Lions are 4-9 against the spread this year including 2-4 on the road. The Saints are 6-6-1 against the spread this year including 3-2-1 at home. The Saints have home field advantage and are favored by a field goal.
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