After Further Review: with victory in hand, Saints fall to 2-4

After Further Review: with victory in hand, Saints fall to 2-4

This one hurts. This one hurts really bad.

The Saints should have won Sunday. They should be 3-3. They should have extended their win streak in games following the bye week to six in a row.

But they didn't.

Instead they left Ford Field 2-4 after a heartbreaking 24-23 defeat to the Lions.

Every loss stings but this one feels different.

This was not Atlanta, a heated rival in a season opener who spent their entire off-season focused on beating the Saints. Nor was this the deflating Dallas experience where they looked completely unmotivated to play. This wasn't even Cleveland where the Saints and Browns both played sloppy for too long.

This was Detroit. A team the Saints were in complete control of for the first 56:08 of the game.

They did all the things good teams do to win on the road. Drew Brees was playing his best ball of the season against the NFL's top defense. Marques Colston and Kenny Stills both topped 100 yards. The defense had finally snapped out of their early season funk with two sacks and two interceptions.

For all intents and purposes, the Saints deserved to win that game. In fact, the story of a season turnaround victory in Detroit was minutes away from being written.

But it all changed with 3:52 left in the fourth quarter on 3rd & 14 and the titanic momentum shift that followed.

By now you know what happened. Matt Stafford completed a pass to Golden Tate. Corey White went for the interception and missed. Kenny Vaccaro took a bad angle on the tackle. Then Tate was off to the races to cut the lead to six.

It's as if you could feel the interception coming right after that score.

Sure enough it did when Glover Quinn stepped in front of a pass intended for Colston.

Five plays later Stafford put the winning points on the board with a pass to Corey Fuller.

"The worst feeling in pro sports is when you feel like you let your team down, " said Brees. "And that's the way I feel right now with that interception."

No, the season is not over. Saints players and coaches will say it's still too early. But the truth is it's not over because of how awful the NFC South is. A record of 8-8 could absolutely be enough to win the division.

But after Sunday, the Saints won't be thinking of win number eight. Instead they'll be wondering how they let win number three slip through their fingers.

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