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NFL: New Orleans 31, Detroit 17

  |   Dec. 5, 2011 at 12:17 AM
NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Drew Brees hurled three touchdown passes Sunday and the streaking New Orleans Saints won their fourth straight with a 31-17 victory over Detroit.

Brees amassed 342 yards and hooked up with Robert Meachem three times for 119 yards and a score as the Saints (9-3) moved two games ahead of Atlanta in the NFC South.

The Falcons lost to Houston earlier Sunday.

The Saints benefited from 11 penalties for 109 yards racked up by the Lions, who were playing without suspended star defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh.

Matthew Stafford threw for 408 yards, with a touchdown and an interception, as Detroit (7-5) lost for the fifth time in seven games.

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