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Detroit Lions 17 @ New Orleans Saints 31: The View from Section 140

All in all another good game for the New Orleans Saints, who defeated the Detroit Lions handily 31-17 on Sunday night and continue their unblemished dominance at home in the Dome. But I know they're still capable of playing better football, especially on defense. I shudder to think what this team could accomplish with even a slightly better defense; they'd be unstoppable. Had the Lions been a more disciplined team, this game might have ended differently. Kinda makes this whole victory bittersweet.

Another late Saints game this week so no more time for introduction paragraphs. Just make the jump to get straight into all my bullet points about the Saints taming of the Lions and my game day experience last night. We'll be discussing this game as usual the rest of the week. Pictures from the game will be posted tomorrow when I have more time.

  • While mingling on the sidelines before the game, Sean Payton handed his crutches to a friend and took a few steps unaided to show the progress he was making with his knee.
  • The two guys sitting next to me smelled as if they had bathed in their cologne.
  • Saints won another coin toss. That's a streak!
  • Robert Meachem led the pre-game Who Dat chant.
  • I would say this was probably the loudest Superdome crowd of the season.
  • For once this season, I'd say the Saints weren't on the bad side of the officiating. Feels nice over here.
  • That being said, the amount of penalties committed by the Lions was just ludicrous and indicative of a completely undisciplined team. I've never seen that many offensive pass interference penalties called in a single game. Any good the Lions were able to achieve last night was usually wiped out quickly by a stupid penalty. Basically, they shot themselves in the foot. Pushing a referee? I think the Lions have some serious anger management issues.
  • Big night for Robert Meachem, his best performance of the season in fact. He had 3 catches for 119 yards and a touchdown. And don't forget about his reverse end-around run for 8 yards.
  • Drew may have put up some nice numbers on the stat sheet but this definitely wasn't his best performance. He was just off his game and/or out of sync with his receivers. The good news is that this offense should be just fine if their quarterback plays so-so and is still throwing for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns.
  • I was cursing Patrick Robinson for allowing that long pass with just 22 seconds left in the first half but I couldn't stay mad at him very long after blocking the subsequent field goal, keeping the Lions off the scoreboard and redeeming himself.
  • A country-themed Marine band was the halftime entertainment. They played a few songs but you could barely hear them in the Dome.
  • Tracy Porter's late-game interception had just the slightest twinge of 2009 but the missed turnover opportunities by the Saints defense continued last night to be a theme of 2011. Jonathan Vilma let a potential interception slip right through his hands and Malcolm Jenkins missed at least one, if not two, chances. Both could have completely changed the tone of this game.
  • I'm starting to get used to this defenses bend-but-don't-break style but damn it would be nice if they could just shut a team down and not have to rely on a turnover, opponent penalties, blocked field goal or just plain luck after letting offenses move down field with ease. I don't care how much of a lead they're playing with.
  • Was it me or did it look like Scott Shanle played a good game? He had six tackles, a sack and seemed to be around the ball a lot. Am I wrong?
  • Jonathan Casillas left the game early when he walked with trainers into the locker room.
  • Thanks to his 89 yards on 8 catches last night, Jimmy Graham is the first Saints tight end to reach 1,000 yards receiving in a single season.
  • Drew Brees is the first quarterback to reach 4,000 yards passing in a single season through just 12 games. Of course his touchdown streak is still active as well.
  • The Saints now have a two game lead in the NFC South thanks to a Falcons loss to the Texans yesterday afternoon. If the playoffs started today, they would have the third seed.
  • Still unbeaten in the Dome.
  • Black pants, bitches!