Lions 27

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Saints 45

(1-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, September 13, 2009

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA 

1 2 3 4 T
DET 3 7 17 027
NO 14 14 10 745

Top Performers

Passing: D. Brees (NO) - 358 YDS, 6 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: M. Bell (NO) - 28 CAR, 143 YDS

Receiving: D. Henderson (NO) - 5 REC, 103 YDS, 1 TD

Brees ties Saints mark with 6 passing TDs in win over Lions

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS -- Drew Brees summed up his record-tying performance by harping on "the ones that got away."

If he can do better than this, look out.

Brees tied a Saints' single-game record with six touchdown passes and threw for 358 yards as the New Orleans Saints beat Detroit 45-27 Sunday to extend the Lions' regular-season losing streak to 18 games.

Breesy day

Drew Brees' six passing touchdowns helped the Saints score 45 points -- the most in a Week 1 game in franchise history.

Most pass TD in game -- Saints history
QB TD Opponent
2009 Drew Brees 6 Lions
1969 Billy Kilmer 6 Cardinals
2006 Drew Brees 5 Cowboys
2003 Aaron Brooks 5 Giants

"I had a lot of opportunities out there. A lot of guys made some big plays in this game. Unfortunately you always think about the ones that got away," said Brees, who shares a franchise mark set by Billy Kilmer in 1969. "There was probably one or two more that we left out there. That's what keeps you coming back."

Two of Brees' touchdown passes went to Jeremy Shockey, who hadn't scored since being traded from the New York Giants to New Orleans last season.

"It's good to get that asterisk off my name that I haven't ever scored a touchdown" with the Saints, Shockey said. "Being around a guy like Drew makes it so easy out there because he works so hard. If I get there at 6:10, he's there at 6:05. He's that kind of a guy."

Fast Facts

• Drew Brees threw six passing touchdowns, the most in Week 1 ever in NFL history. Brees tied a franchise record with the sixth passing TD, and his 358 passing yards are the most by a Saints QB in Week 1, topping his previous mark of 343 set last year. It's the most since Brett Favre threw six in Week 4 last season.

• Five different Saints had receiving touchdowns, including Jeremy Shockey, who had his second career multi-TD game after having none last year.

• The Lions have lost 18 straight games, which is tied for the fourth-longest streak in NFL history. They are 1-24 in their last 25 overall.

• Matthew Stafford rushed for his first NFL score but threw three interceptions and had 205 passing yards in his first game.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Mike Bell led New Orleans' running game with a career-high 143 yards, carrying the ball with power, speed and elusiveness, and getting a standing ovation from the Louisiana Superdome crowd when he trotted off the field late in the fourth quarter.

Matthew Stafford's first start had its ups and downs. The 2009 top overall draft choice was 16 of 37 for 205 yards with three interceptions, two by safety Darren Sharper, the other by linebacker Scott Shanle.

"It was tough. Playing from behind is never easy," Stafford said. "Some of those balls I was throwing, I was just trying to get rid of it and not take a sack. ... I'm fine. I've thrown three picks in a game before. Obviously, I don't like to lose. I wish I could play better, but I've got to learn from it."

Stafford led two touchdown drives, capping one with his first NFL score on a short keeper. Lions safety Louis Delmas also returned a fumble for a 65-yard touchdown, which made it 38-27 late in the third quarter.

The Lions had some highlights of their own and stayed in the game until the fourth quarter, offering hope they may eventually win before reaching Tampa Bay's record of 26 straight losses.

At times, however, they also made mistakes symptomatic of a team with a long losing streak. A few plays after Aaron Brown's 87-yard kickoff return, Daniel Loper was called for a false start on a first-and-goal from the 1 late in the third quarter and the Lions wound up with only a field goal.

Soon after, Brees' pass to Devery Henderson deep down the middle went for a 58-yard score, putting New Orleans up 38-20.

Stafford's longest completion went to Calvin Johnson, who slipped Malcolm Jenkins' tackle on a crossing route and scampered 64 yards to the Saints 3. That set up Stafford's TD.

That was nothing compared to the passing exhibition put on by Brees, who last season became only the second quarterback in NFL history to surpass 5,000 yards passing.

Brees completed his first three passes for 49 yards, including a 26-yarder to Reggie Bush and a 9-yard TD to Marques Colston. Brees' other TDs went for 39 yards to Robert Meachem, 1 and 15 yards to Shockey, and 13 yards to fullback Heath Evans.

New Detroit coach Jim Schwartz didn't let his defense escape blame, however.

"Good gracious. What wouldn't disappoint me? Points allowed, third-down defense, red zone defense, rushing," he said. "There's no silver lining in that performance."

Bush returned for the Saints after missing three preseason games and had 55 yards receiving and 14 yards rushing. He fumbled two punts, recovering one himself and turning the other over. He also had a 4-yard TD run called back by a holding penalty.

The Lions could not have opened the game much worse. New Orleans first two drives started near midfield and the Saints led 14-0 before six minutes elapsed on Brees' TD passes to Colston and Meachem.

Game notes

Sharper has 56 career regular season interceptions. ... Saints punter Thomas Morstead, a fifth-round draft pick, also had kickoff duties with 45-year-old John Carney handling field goals. Morstead put his first three kickoffs into the end zone. ... Carney hit a 39-yard field goal, but also had one blocked. ... Detroit had 235 return yards on kickoffs and punts and 231 net yards on offense. ... Lions CB Eric King started for injured Phillip Buchanon (neck) and was beaten on TD passes to Colston, Meachem and Henderson. ... Meachem had 148 yards on six kickoff returns. ... Saints LT Jermon Bushrod left with a bruised right knee but returned before the game ended.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1428
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays5869
Total Yards231515
Yards per play4.07.5
Total Drives1213
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-44-6
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

noTD12:17Marques Colston 9 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 54 yds, 2:49
noTD9:42Robert Meachem 39 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 53 yds, 1:09
detFG5:18Jason Hanson 47 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 51 yds, 4:22
detTD14:11Kevin Smith 4 Yard Run (Jason Hanson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 13 yds, 2:05
noTD3:49Jeremy Shockey 1 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 65 yds, 5:04
noTD1:17Jeremy Shockey 15 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 59 yds, 1:11
detTD11:50Matthew Stafford 1 Yard Run (Jason Hanson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 71 yds, 3:13
noFG6:15John Carney 39 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 64 yds, 5:36
detFG3:26Jason Hanson 24 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 6 yds, 2:49
noTD3:11Devery Henderson 58 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 58 yds, 0:19
detTD1:43Louis Delmas 65 Yard Fumble Return (Jason Hanson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 19 yds, 1:20
noTD8:38Heath Evans 13 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 78 yds, 8:00