Joey Harrington was 17-for-30 passing for 210 yards, no touchdowns and one interception and Roy Williams recorded four receptions for 111 yards and one touchdown for the Lions (5-10), who broke a five-game losing streak and gave interim head coach Dick Jauron his first win in four tries. Williams made a key 40-yard catch on fourth down in the game-winning drive.
Detroit defensive tackle Shaun Rogers scored the game's only touchdown with a 21-yard fumble return in the second quarter.
Todd Bouman was 21-for-38 for 233 yards while Zachary Hilton made seven receptions for 83 yards and Joe Horn caught six passes for 70 yards for the Saints (3-11). Place-kicker John Carney kicked four field goals.