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Josh Katzenstein: The Lions should make a quick stop in Ireland before going to London this week to thank their lucky stars. Despite their worst defensive performance of the year and an offense that could barely move for three-plus quarters, the Lions somehow won Sunday, taking full advantage of costly mistakes late by the Saints. It's clear the Lions have enough players who won't shy from big moments, particularly Golden Tate and Glover Quin Sunday.

Rod Beard: The Lions were left for dead midway through the fourth quarter but scored a pair of touchdowns in the final four minutes and snatched the 24-23 win away from the Saints. The defense made big plays when it needed to and Matthew Stafford overcame a pair of bad interceptions earlier in the game. This will be a big win for the Lions' confidence, if nothing else, as they head to London with a 5-2 record, keeping pace with the Packers in the North Division.

John Niyo: They gave up 400-plus yards of offense and finished with just one sack officially. So statistically, the Lions' defense probably won't rank as the NFL's best after Sunday's game. But this one earns another notch on their collective belt. Because this is what really good defenses do -- they win games late.

Bob Wojnowski: We've said repeatedly the Lions look different under Jim Caldwell, that something unusual might be unfolding. Well, this was the perfect example of it, turning an ugly game into a stunning win with a closing fury. They beat the Saints 24-23 because in the final five minutes, they made the big plays, and their defense stuffed Drew Brees. I don't know if the Lions' defense will remain No. 1 statistically, but when it harasses Brees into incompletions on five of his final seven passes, it's done something special.