Football

Detroit Lions closing in on infamy

The Detroit Lions were drubbed 42-7 at home by the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, putting them one loss away from an unprecedented 0-16 season.

The Detroit Lions were drubbed 42-7 at home by the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, putting them one loss away from an unprecedented 0-16 season.

Detroit allowed New Orleans a whopping 532 yards of total offence. The Lions managed just 255.

No team has gone winless in a season since the league moved to a 16-game schedule in 1978. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost the first 26 games of their existence over two seasons in the mid 1970s, but were 0-14.

While there have been teams that have gone 1-15 before, no one has ever faced the prospect of needing a win in the 16th game.

The Lions play next week in Green Bay, where they haven't won since 1991.

"It's very real," said Detroit centre Dominic Raiola. "It's right there in front of us.

"It's pretty sad that it's come to this." 

Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 350 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Marques Colston. He completed 30 of 40 passes.

Brees now has 4,682 passing yards, with a shot at Dan Marino's record 5,084 in a season not impossible, but a tough chore. The Saints will host 11-3 Carolina next week.

Saints coach Sean Payton said he didn't think the record was a distraction during the game.

"I thought we handled that part of it well in just handling the game the way we're supposed to and that's to win," said Payton.

New Orleans got four rushing touchdowns against the Lions — one each from Robert Meachem, Pierre Thomas, Deuce McAllister and Mike Bell.

Detroit quarterback Dan Orlovsky threw two interceptions on just 125 yards passing.

The lone offensive bright spots were Kevin Smith and Calvin Johnson. Smith rushed for 111 yards and the Lions' only touchdown, with Johnson catching four passes for 64 yards.

A touchdown pass to Johnson was called back because of a Lions penalty.

Quarterback Joey Harrington, a whipping boy for Detroit fans in the first half of the decade, is now a Saints reserve.

"Who would have believed that I was here in the heyday?" Harrington said.

"No one deserves to go through this," he added.

With files from the Associated Press