The game had more twists and turns than any in recent memory, but the Lions fell short of a historic comeback in New Orleans. We offer our takeaways on the game.
New Orleans — Typically, when you look at the snap counts after a game, it's common to see six offensive players take every snap — the quarterback and the five starting offensive linemen. Against the New Orleans Saints, only two linemen were on the field 100 percent of the plays.
Guard Graham Glasgow and center Travis Swanson came through the afternoon unscathed, but both offensive tackles and backup guard Emmett Cleary, starting in place of T.J. Lang, struggled through injuries.
Rick Wagner missed five snaps with an aggravated ankle injury, and might have missed more had he not been forced back into action when Greg Robinson also rolled his ankle. Cleary's injury never was announced, but he hobbled to the bench in the third quarter and was replaced by Tim Lelito, making his debut with the team.
In all, the Lions used all seven of their active linemen, with each playing at least 26 snaps. That's rough.
Here are some additional observations from Sunday's snap counts.
■ Nevin Lawson continued his recent domination of the cornerback timeshare with D.J. Hayden, playing 18 more snaps.
■ With wide receiver Golden Tate going out in the third quarter with a shoulder injury, Jared Abbrederis played a career-high 47 snaps.
■ With Haloti Ngata out for the season with a bicep injury, Akeem Spence got his first start and a significant workload bump. After averaging 32 plays the first five weeks, he played 52 against the Saints.
■ Rookie cornerback Teez Tabor made his defensive debut, playing three snaps.
■ For the third consecutive week, and fourth time this season, Darren Fells outsnapped Eric Ebron at tight end. Fells played 46 snaps against the Saints, catching a 22-yard touchdown. Ebron played 41 and had one catch for nine yards.
■ After two games of minimal usage on defense, rookie linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin got a lengthy look in the loss, playing a season-high 27 defensive snaps. There's logic to the decision, attempting to utilize Maybin's coverage ability against a traditionally pass-happy Saints team.