On Sunday afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings had an opportunity to break their losing streak, but they simply let it all slip away.
Penalties, miscues, and weak defense when it counted the most allowed the Detroit Lions the chance to walk out of U.S. Bank Stadium with a victory, as they defeated the purple by a final score of 22-16 in overtime.
Detroit got on the board first midway through the first quarter, courtesy of a 47-yard field goal by Matt Prater. Minnesota evened things up early in the second quarter on a 33-yard field goal by Blair Walsh. Detroit pulled ahead late in the second quarter following a ridiculously long drive. That possession covered 84 yards in 17 plays and took nearly ten minutes to complete. The drive ended with Matthew Stafford finding Anquan Boldin in the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown pass, and Prater's extra point gave the visiting team a 10-3 lead going into the locker room at halftime.
Minnesota's defense stepped up in the third quarter, holding the Lions without a first down for the entire frame. The Vikings then finally got into the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Sam Bradford to Kyle Rudolph. Unfortunately, the extra point attempt from Blair Walsh ricocheted off the right upright, and the Vikings continued to find themselves trailing by a score of 10-9.
The Vikings had an opportunity to pull ahead early in the fourth quarter when they called on Walsh again for a 46-yard field goal attempt. The kick was blocked by Tyrunn Walker and taken back down to the Minnesota 42-yard line. Minnesota's defense held again, but the Lions extended the lead on a 53-yard field goal by Prater to make the score 13-9 with just over 13 minutes left in the game.
Minnesota made a push deep into Detroit territory on the ensuing possession, but found themselves facing 4th-and-1 from the 5-yard line. The Vikings gave the ball to Matt Asiata, but the Lions' defense stopped him short of the line to gain for a turnover on downs. Minnesota's defense got a stop and got the ball back at their own 21-yard line with just over four minutes remaining in the contest. Minnesota got the ball down to the 1-yard line, and punched it in with. . .Rhett Ellison? Yes, RHETT ELLISON on the jet sweep got the Vikings a touchdown! That put the Vikings ahead 15-13, and Walsh hit the extra point to make it 16-13 with just 23 seconds left on the clock.
However, Detroit managed to get themselves into position for a 57-yard field goal attempt by Prater at the end of the game, and he was good from 58 yards out to tie the game at 16, sending it to overtime.
Detroit got the ball first in overtime, and when it looked like the Vikings might get a stop, they gave up a 23-yard catch to Eric Ebron to move the ball to the Minnesota 43. It looked like the Vikings were going to get a stop after a sack by Everson Griffen, but another penalty on Xavier Rhodes allowed Detroit to keep their drive going. They took advantage of it, as Stafford found Golden Tate on a short catch that turned into a 28-yard touchdown.
Looking at the boxscore, Sam Bradford had a decent game, as he completed 31-of-40 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown. Stefon Diggs was the leading receiver for the Vikings, picking up 80 yards on a whopping 13 catches. Ronnie Hillman led the Vikings in rushing with 30 yards on seven carries.
For the Lions, Matthew Stafford came through when he needed to. He completed 23-of-36 passes for 219 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Eric Ebron led the Lions in receiving with a career-high 92 yards on seven catches, including several big ones. Theo Riddick led Detroit in rushing with 70 yards on 14 carries.
For just the second time in the Mike Zimmer era, the Vikings have lost three in a row. They drop to 5-3 and will travel to the East Coast to take on the Washington Redskins next week. The Lions improve to 5-4, becoming the first visiting team to win at U.S. Bank Stadium, and next week will have their bye.
The Minnesota Vikings lose a heartbreaker in overtime to the Detroit Lions by a final score of 22-16. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of this week's game right here at The Daily Norseman.