But for a late touchdown run from Reggie Bush that was nullified by a holding penalty, the Saints would have finished Sunday’s game against the Lions with more than 50 points.
As it stands, the Saints scored 45, more than enough to overcome the 27 that Detroit put on the board.
The late touchdown came just after the two-minute warning. Thereafter, the Saints curiously didn’t take a knee three times, opting instead for three more running plays to end the game.
Despite a final drive that consisted of nine runs and no passes, Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 358 yards and a career-high six touchdowns.
Meanwhile, running back Mike Bell churned up 143 yards rushing on 28 carries. Reggie Bush, on the other hand, carried the ball only seven times, for only 14 yards. Though Bush added 55 yards receiving on five receptions, it’s now obvious that the Saints don’t envision Bush as a go-to back, especially since the guy they picked up off the street received more than twice the touches.
For the Lions, quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 16 of 37 passes for 205 yards and three interceptions. (The passer rating surely will be south of the Kordoza Line.) Running back Kevin Smith gained only 20 yards on 15 carries, giving him an average lower than Bush’s 2.0 yards per carry.
In all, the Saints gained 515 yards and the Lions only 231. Frankly, it’s amazing that New Orleans won by only 18 points.