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12/27/15. 49ers at Lions. Week 16. FOX, 1:05pm.

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I'm sure this will be a well played and well reffed game throughout...

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Presents the following thread:

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(4-10) @ (5-9)

Your Detroit Lions

VS.

The San Francisco 49ers

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NFC Conference

Week 16

Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.

Date: December 27th, 2015

Time: 1:05pm EST

This game is a presentation of:

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Television Broadcast Provided by:

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FOX

Radio Broadcast Provided by:

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Sirius / XM, Ch 81.

Official Lions / Saints Highlights:

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Sandman's Lions / Saints Slowlights:

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Stafford's 3 TD passes lead Lions past Saints, 35-27

NEW ORLEANS -- For all the arm talent Matthew Stafford has displayed in his seven NFL seasons, it was his efficiency and decision-making that sparked the Detroit Lions to a big lead and helped prevent them from squandering it. Stafford completed 22 of 25 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns, and the Lions held off a late surge by New Orleans to defeat the Saints 35-27 on Monday night.

"The guy was phenomenal. He was chasing perfection," said Lions receiver Golden Tate, who caught two short touchdown passes. "We rallied around that." Detroit (5-9) raced to a 28-3 lead, but Drew Brees threw a pair of touchdown passes - one shortly after a Lions fumble - to help New Orleans (5-9) pull to 28-20 with about 10 minutes left.

Brees passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the fourth quarterback to surpass 60,000 yards in a career while also eclipsing the 4,000-yard mark for the 10th straight season. Brandin Cooks made a career-high 10 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown.

But New Orleans' loss guaranteed consecutive losing seasons for the first time since Sean Payton became coach in 2006.

Brees injured his right foot in the second quarter but never missed a snap. He said he would have an MRI on Tuesday. "I don't know what exactly we've got going on here," Brees said of his injury. "It was getting stiff, but we were able to manage."

The Lions' last-ranked running game accounted for 150 yards and two TDs against New Orleans' last-ranked run defense, with Ameer Abdullah and Joique Bell each scoring a TD and rushing for more than 70 yards.

Not one of Stafford's touchdown strikes went for more than 5 yards, but he was poised, accurate and did not turn the ball over.

"Obviously, if you complete 88 percent, that's rare," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. "It's very difficult to do that versus air. He was huge for us and spread it around quite a bit."

Still, both teams took turns making the kinds of mistakes that losing teams do, producing a close game after it initially looked as though Detroit might run away with it. "They got off to a fast start," Brees said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't match them step for step. But I'm proud of the way our team fought down the stretch."

The Lions led 28-3 when Abdullah scored on a 15-yard run around the left end in the third quarter. New Orleans responded with Brees' 27-yard touchdown to Cooks and further closed the gap on Kai Forbath's field goal after the Lions made a stop on a third-and-goal from the 4.

But Abdullah fumbled on Detroit's next play from scrimmage, and the Saints capitalized with Brees' 11-yard scoring strike to Marques Colston. Detroit looked ripe to self-destruct, but instead put together a clutch scoring drive that included Abdullah's 27-yard run and Bell's short rushing TD.

"We knew we had to stay on the field and be able to score points," Stafford said. "You play Drew Brees in this place, it's like an NBA basketball game. You know they are going to make a run."

Brees' late touchdown to Ben Watson closed the gap with 1:55 left, but New Orleans' onside kick was recovered by Detroit's Calvin Johnson, and the Lions marched deep into Saints territory before Matt Prater missed a field goal with 9 seconds left. The Lions led 21-3 by halftime on Tate's touchdown catches of 1 and 5 yards and fullback Michael Burton's first career touchdown from 4 yards out.

The Saints thought they had a touchdown three times on their final drive of the first half but came away with nothing. First, Cooks made a spectacular one-handed catch of Brees' 28-yard pass and was initially ruled to have scored, but the call was changed after a video review, marking Cooks down at the 1.

Soon after, running back Tim Hightower found the end zone with a second-effort run, but New Orleans was flagged for illegal formation, with officials saying lineman Senio Kelemete failed to report as an eligible tight end. On fourth down, Brees hit Colston at the goal line, but New Orleans was flagged for an illegal man downfield, ending the half.

The Saints asserted that Kelemete reported on the play before he was flagged and should not have had to report again. "Tough scenario there at the end of the first half where you feel like you have a touchdown," Brees said. "I'm sure there will be explanations and maybe apologies about that."

Notes:

Lions heap praise on 'phenomenal' OC Jim Bob Cooter - NFL.com

The progress of new Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter has made any decision for the Lions' next general manager increasingly difficult.

Since Cooter took over, Detroit is 4-2, including a fluke loss to the Green Bay Packers on a Hail Mary that should have never reached open arms. In that time, Matt Stafford is hitting almost 70 percent of his passes, and has thrown just two picks to 14 touchdowns.

"The way he communicates with us -- he's a fun guy, a younger guy to be around," Calvin Johnson told The Detroit News on Monday following a Lions victory in New Orleans. "And he's getting better and better every game."

Added Golden Tate, whose touchdown numbers have dramatically spiked since Cooter took over: "Jim Bob Cooter has done a phenomenal job at finding out what guys do best and putting them in positions to succeed. When you have the athletes we have, it's just simplifying. And that's what we're doing."

Their fortunes under Cooter have been good enough to earn a scoff from head coach Jim Caldwell, who did not appreciate reporters asking him about what could have been.

"You know what, I'm on a positive note right now," Caldwell said, via The Free Press. "I'm only thinking about this game. These guys played well today. I'm going to give them credit for what they did today. I'm not looking back and all that kind of stuff. I'll let you (media) guys do that. For us, we're going to enjoy this one. We had a good performance out of all of our guys."

That's fair enough from Caldwell, but a new general manager could have a more pessimistic view of things. Stafford saw two years of his prime vanish in the old offense and Johnson saw two near the end of an excellent career get severely dented.

While the option for a new general manager is there to keep this staff in place for a season until they find a candidate they truly fall in love with, is this six-game stretch enough to really convince the new executive team that they deserve to stay? Or is it just enough to get Jim Bob Cooter another coordinator job this winter?

NFC North Standings:

Green Bay (10-4) .714

Minnesota (9-5) .643

Detroit (5-9) .357

Chicago (5-9) .357

Lions Injury News:

Josh Bynes LB Foot Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Haloti Ngata DT Neck Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Calvin Johnson WR Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Caraun Reid DT Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Michael Ola T Knee Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Glover Quin S Concussion Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Larry Warford G Quadricep Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Dwight Bentley CB Illness Full Participation in Practice Questionable

49ers Injury News:

Tramaine Brock CB Hamstring Full Participation in Practice Probable

Marcus Martin C Concussion Did Not Participate In Practice Out

Aaron Lynch LB Concussion Full Participation in Practice Probable

Dontae Johnson CB Ankle Full Participation in Practice Probable

Shaun Draughn RB Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Out

Arik Armstead DT Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable

Torrey Smith WR Back Full Participation in Practice Probable

Joe Staley T Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable

Ahmad Brooks LB Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable

Michael Wilhoite LB Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Out

Erik Pears T Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable

Alex Boone G Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Out

Navorro Bowman LB Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable

Quinton Dial DT Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable

Jaquiski Tartt S Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable

Eli Harold LB Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable

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I'm hoping for a loss, but I'm not going to complain anymore if they win this week and next. Really, I just want this season to be done with so that most everyone involved in football operations can be let go: White, Caldwell, scouting staff, pro personnel people, etc. I'll be satisfied if they loose, but be more satisfied when this miserable season is done with.

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Lions defense has to call timeout because not enough players on the field on goal line defense..

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If its a critical play you can bet that even the most marginal transgression, one that goes uncalled dozens of times each week across the league, will be called if it screws the Lions.

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49ers havent scored a td in the first qtr or on their first drive all year? Let the Lions fix that for you..

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Caldwell has helped this team greatly cut down on personal foul penalties these past two seasons.

I'll give him that much. I think the personal foul penalties have lessened a little bit. But other mismanagement is just really bad. Not enough people on the field, clock management, etc.

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Another officiating disaster. Called fair catch interference, picked up the flag during a commercial break because coverage man was blocked into reciever. Replay shows the coverage man was untouched.

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I'll give him that much. I think the personal foul penalties have lessened a little bit. But other mismanagement is just really bad. Not enough people on the field, clock management, etc.

That was sarcasm on my part after we committed a personal foul call. If you look up the numbers, our penalties haven't gone down much at all from the last season under Schwartz.

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That was sarcasm on my part after we committed a personal foul call. If you look up the numbers, our penalties haven't gone down much at all from the last season under Schwartz.

Crazy I assumed we probably had far lesser penalties with the loss of Suh alone. :silly:

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