Penalties were a major issue for the Detroit Lions for a second straight game. Detroit committed over 100 yards worth of penalties, including three offensive pass interference penalties by Nate Burleson, as the Lions fell to the Saints 31-17 on Sunday Night Football. Fortunately, Both Atlanta and Chicago lost, keeping Detroit in a tie for the NFC's two wild card spots. The loss also clinches the NFC North for the Green Bay Packers.
Darren Sproles added a six yard touchdown reception from Drew Brees early in the fourth quarter as the Saints doubled their lead. New Orleans then sealed the game with a Tracy Porter interception of Matthew Stafford with three minutes left.
Stafford did throw for 409 yards, on 31 of 43 passing, but had only one touchdown as Detroit was undone by offensive penalties that ended multiple drives. Detroit committed 11 penalties for 109 yards, while New Orleans had just three penalties for 30 yards.
Drew Brees had 333 yards passing for the Saints and three touchdowns as he continues his assault on the NFL record book. Brees now had 4,022 yards passing this season, and he need 1,063 yards in his final four games to break Dan Marino's single season passing yards record.