Lions Vs. Saints: Detroit's Season Ends With 45-28 Loss To New Orleans

For more on the Lions, check out Pride of Detroit.

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Lions Vs. Saints Score Update: New Orleans Takes 24-21 Lead

The New Orleans Saints started the third quarter against the Detroit Lions trailing 14-10, but the deficit didn't last long, as Drew Brees hit Devery Henderson for a huge 41-yard touchdown, just one play after Robert Meachem was wide open and dropped a long bomb. Following the extra point, the Saints led 17-14 less than two minutes into the third quarter.

So Matthew Stafford and the Lions took the field again, and they started off with a 21-yard reception by Calvin Johnson. Stafford would go on to hit another receiver, for close to a first down, but the Lions were called on a holding penalty, and were forced into a 2nd and 19 situation. They tried a fake end-around, and it went nowhere, so Stafford was forced to throw the ball away, bringing up a third and long. Unable to convert, the Lions were forced to punt after a pickup of about eight yards.

Brees and the Saints started to drive again, picking up yardage in chunks. They were helped along by some more questionable calls, but the Lions eventually were able to hold them on 3rd and 1, when they stuffed Chris Ivory on a run. Or perhaps not, the Saints line up to go for it on fourth and inches, and they do - Brees takes it, leaps up in the air, extends the ball and picks up the first. New Orleans end up at midfield with a first down and a lot of momentum. Eventually, Brees hits Jimmy Graham for a beautiful touchdown pass and the Saints took a 24-14 lead.

The Lions came back out, looking to get some more points on the board. Stafford missed Titus Young deep, or rather, Young couldn't real in the spectacular catch, but then Calvin Johnson caught a big one for 21 yards while being covered by three guys. After Tony Scheffler dropped another pass, it was Johnson once again, covered by two guys, picking up a 42-yard reception and taking the ball to the two-yard line. On first down, they inch it forward to the one-yard line. On second, they're stuffed, and on third down, Stafford takes it in himself, diving for the pylon, and it's ruled a touchdown on the field. They review it, and confirm it, so the Lions come within a field goal near the end of the third quarter, after an extra point.

For more on the Detroit Lions, check out Pride of Detroit. For an opposing view, check out Canal Street Chronicles. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NFL hub at SBNation.com/NFL.

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Lions Vs. Saints Halftime Update: Detroit Suffers From Early Whistle, Lead 14-10 Heading Into Third

The New Orleans Saints started the second quarter in the red zone, and Darren Sproles was able to score from a few yards out on third down to tie the NFC Wild Card game at 7-7. That gave the Detroit Lions the ball near the beginning of the quarter, trying to pull back ahead. Matthew Stafford hit Calvin Johnson on first down for an 18-yard gain, but faced a third down following that. Stafford converted through the air again though, hitting tight end Tony Scheffler for seven yards.

At the 44-yard line, it was Kevin Smith who got the carry, and he took it across midfield for nine yards and a 2nd and 1 was up next. Stafford did a quick dropback, and hit Nate Burleson over his back shoulder for the first down and then some, picking up 21 yards and taking the ball close to the red zone. From the shotgun on firs down, Stafford threw deep, at ... basically nobody. But the Lions kept it up, and eventually, Stafford hit Johnson with a beautiful pass and beautiful catch for 13-yard touchdown and a 14-7 Lions lead.

But the Saints came back, once again, and started driving. Brees eventually hit Pierre Thomas for a short pass that, once again, Thomas took for far more yardage than he had any business doing, getting the Saints into Lions territory. But on the 37-yard line, Brees dropped back, cocked a throw, and was immediately hit by Willie Young, who forced the fumble. Detroit recovered once again, and an over-zealous referee blew the whistle far too early. It almost definitely would have been a touchdown for Detroit if the referee hadn't blown the whistle.

Naturally, the Lions were unable to take advantage of the situation, and instead of 21-7, we have 14-7 after a quick three-and-out. So the Saints took over again, and started to drive down the field. Eventually, they lined up at 3rd and 1 on the 36-yard line, and Detroit gets pressure, forcing a Brees incompletion. But the Saints quickly line up on fourth down, and Chris Ivory runs it, picking up the yard they needed and keeping the drive going with a minute to go. They kept driving, and ended up at the Detroit 17-yard line, calling their final timeout with 21 seconds left and a first down.

Brees then hit Colston for a touchdown in the back of the endzone, but it's clear he didn't complete the process of the catch, so it was waved off. But there's a facemask penalty on the play, so New Orleans gets the ball with a first and goal at the six-yard line with 16 seconds to go. Detroit holds them until there's four seconds on the clock, so the Saints kick the field go and trail 14-10 at the half.

Here's a video of the Calvin Johnson touchdown.

For more on the Detroit Lions, check out Pride of Detroit. For an opposing view, check out Canal Street Chronicles. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NFL hub at SBNation.com/NFL.

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Lions Vs. Saints NFC Wild Card Score Update: Detroit Scores On Opening Drive, Tied 7-7 In Second

The Detroit Lions took the opening kickoff and got underway at their own 20-yard line after a touchback. Kevin Smith and Calvin Johnson, both listed on the injury report this past week, got things started for the Lions. Smith picked up seven yards on the ground, and then Johnson snagged 22-yard reception, breaking a couple tackles en route. Detroit did face an early third down though, when the lined up for 3rd and 2 following an end-around to Titus Young. They were assessed a penalty for having too many men in the huddle, so they took a 3rd and 7.

But Young struck again, catching a 15-yard reception and converting the third down. Then it was Young again, picking up 11 yards and another first down. Right outside of the red-zone, it was Johnson again on first down, catching a pass for 12 yards and setting Detroit up in scoring position. From 10 yards out, Matthew Stafford hit Will Heller over the middle for ten yards and a touchdown, taking a 7-0 lead following the extra point.

Drew Brees then led the Saints onto the field and, wouldn't you know it, picked up where left off. On first down, he hit Devery Henderson for 23 yards and, obviously, a first down. Darren Sproles and Chris Ivory then combined for another 32 yards for a couple more Saints first downs. But Detroit stepped up and made a fumble, when Marques Colston caught a 13-yard pass from Brees. Justin Durant recovered it and Detroit took back over.

Facing an early third down on their second drive, the Lions ran an end-around with Nate Burleson, who had to dive, but he picked up the yard and Detroit picked up a first down. After converting another third down, the Detroit drive stalled out around midfield, when Stafford missed Johnson deep on 3rd and 11, so they were forced to punt.

The Saints took back over, and were stuffed on two consecutive plays, bringing up a third down. Brees dumped it off to Pierre Thomas, who was grabbed a few yards short of the first, but he jumped somehow and got the first. Then he took a rush for 31 yards and the Saints were set up in the red zone. Detroit held them twice, but Sproles was able to take it into the endzone to tie the game following an extra point at the start of the second period.

For more on the Detroit Lions, check out Pride of Detroit. For an opposing view, check out Canal Street Chronicles. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NFL hub at SBNation.com/NFL.

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Lions Vs. Saints, 2012 NFL Playoffs: Game Time, TV Schedule And More

For the first time since the 1999 season, the Detroit Lions will be in the NFL Playoffs, but it won't be an easy route for the Lions to make if they want to wind up in Indiana for the Super Bowl. They are in Louisiana on Saturday night to face the 13-3 New Orleans Saints. The odds makers have the Lions as far down as 11-point underdogs.

This game could turn into a shootout between Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Brees shattered Dan Marino's single-season passing record by finishing with 5,476 passing yards. He also had 46 passing touchdowns. Stafford nearly matched him with 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Detroit will look to reverse its Dec. loss to the Saints, which was 31-17 in favor of New Orleans.

More: SB Nation on Lions vs. Saints | Potential Super Bowl Rankings Matchups

Game date, time: 7:00 pm CT, Saturday, Jan. 7

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA

TV channel: NBC

Odds: Saints favored by 11 points.

Check out Canal Street Chronicles for the latest on the Saints and Pride of Detroit for the latest on the Lions, and head on over to the SB Nation NFL news hub for everything you need to know about the 2012 playoffs.

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Detroit Lions Injury Report: Kevin Smith, Calvin Johnson Probable For Saints Game

The Detroit Lions are preparing for one of the biggest games they've had in a long time as they set to do battle with the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs on Saturday. The team got some good news from its injury report as both Kevin Smith and Calvin Johnson were listed as probable heading into Saturday's game.

Johnson missed all of practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday and Friday, according to the final report of the week, but he's apparently healthy enough to be deemed probable heading into tomorrow's game. The wide receiver missed both Wednesday and Thursday last week with his Achilles injury before playing very well in the regular season finale.

Smith is listed on the injury report with both ankle and knee injuries, but the starting running back didn't let them both him too much this week. He was limited, but will still have a good chance to play on Saturday according to his probable status.

Safety Chris Harris is the only player listed as doubtful this week as every other Lion showing up on the injury report is listed as probable.

For more on the Detroit Lions, check out Pride of Detroit. For more on the Saints, visit Canal Street Chronicles. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NFL hub atSBNation.com/NFL.

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Calvin Johnson Injury: Detroit Lions WR Misses Wednesday Practice

The Detroit Lions had their first official practice of the week on Wednesday as they begin to prepare for their playoff game this weekend with the New Orleans Saints. The offense was a bit light according to the official injury report, however, as Calvin Johnson sat out completely while starting running back Kevin Smith was limited.

Johnson sat out Wednesday and Thursday last week, too, but ended up playing quite well despite the Achilles injury. The Detroit Free Press's Dave Birkett expects the same to happen this weekend.

Wide receiver Calvin Johnson today sat out his second straight practice with an Achilles tendon injury, but there's little doubt he'll play in the Detroit Lions' playoff opener Saturday against the New Orleans Saints.

Johnson worked on the side with trainers during the open portion of Lions practice, and receiver Titus Young returned to the field after sitting out Tuesday.

Johnson was the only player to miss practice on Wednesday, but quite a few were limited -- mostly on the defensive end. The entire report for Wednesday is available here.

For more on the Detroit Lions, check out Pride of Detroit. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NFL hub at SBNation.com/NFL.

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NFL Playoff Schedule 2012: Lions Will Play Jan. 7 At 8 p.m.

The NFL has now officially announced the kickoff times for the first two rounds of the playoffs, and the Detroit Lions will be in the featured games both weeks if they win in round one. Detroit will play at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7 at the New Orleans Saints on NBC. The Lions' game will immediately follow the Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans, also on NBC.

Should Detroit win, it will play the following week on Sunday, Jan. 15 at the Green Bay Packers at 4:30 p.m. on FOX. The rest of the wild card round will feature Atlanta at New York/Dallas on Jan. 8 at 1 p.m. on FOX, followed by Pittsburgh at Denver.

In the divisional round, the Saturday games will be the ones hosted by San Francisco and New England, followed by the ones hosted by Baltimore and Green Bay on Sunday. New England and Green Bay will play the lowest seeded wild card team.

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NFL Playoff Schedule 2012: Lions Head To New Orleans, Will Play In Primetime

The Lions will return to New Orleans for their first playoff game in 12 years.

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