I can honestly say that I have NEVER been this upset at the officiating in a football game.
You know, I THOUGHT that the Lions would lose. But the fact that the loss comes not only at the hands of the Saints, but also at one of the poorest examples of officiating I've ever witnessed really makes it seem different.
The Lions should have had a defensive TD on the Drew Brees fumble return, but for whatever reason the play was whistled dead. The Saints got a tick-tack penalty that took what would have been a decently long field goal and made it a chip shot to end the first half. Then to start the second half, on third down and long the Saints got a first down...on a spot that put the ball a good 4.5 feet farther forward than the player had actually gotten. This all goes hand in hand with the Drew Brees "fourth down leap" where he put the ball forward...okay, forward progress...but then dropped the ball while he was being tackled and recovered his own fumble. That nullifies forward progress.
This all doesn't even come close to explaining the amount of blatantly obvious holding calls were not called against the Saints. I'm not talking just holding, either...I'm talking "here, let me bear hug you to the ground" type of holding.
Sure, the Lions doomed themselves as well with their inability to tackle and the fact that they couldn't get off of the field on third down...but the refs played MUCH more of a part in this game than they should have. The Lions deserve better.