The Minnesota Vikings couldn’t stop shooting themselves in the foot on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium, but it’s a knee that might have them significantly more concerned going forward.
Thanks to three turnovers, two of which led to 11 unanswered points for the opposition, the Vikings fell to their NFC North rivals, the Detroit Lions, by a final score of 14-7.
After a scoreless first quarter of play, the Lions dented the scoreboard first in this one, courtesy of a 29-yard field goal by Matt Prater to take a 3-0 lead. The next score came with just over a minute left in the first half, and it came courtesy of rookie Dalvin Cook, who took a handoff from Case Keenum and went in untouched from five yards out to give the Vikings the lead. Kai Forbath added the extra point, and the Vikings took a 7-3 lead into the locker room.
The Lions cashed in on a Minnesota turnover with another Prater field goal early in the third quarter, a 37-yarder to make it 7-6. The Vikings lined up in the Wildcat formation from midfield, and the exchange between Jerick McKinnon and Dalvin Cook resulted in a fumble that the Lions recovered.
After a second straight Vikings’ turnover, this one a fumble by Cook on a play where he appeared to suffer a significant knee injury, the Lions got themselves into the end zone on a 3-yard touchdown run by Ameer Abdullah. Matthew Stafford connected with T.J. Jones on a two-point conversion pass, and the Lions took a 14-7 lead.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Vikings pushed deep into Detroit territory, setting up a first-and-goal at the 8. However, on third down Keenum was sacked by Anthony Zettel for the second time, and they could not convert fourth down and goal from the 14, turning it over on downs.
Minnesota forced a three-and-out at the two-minute warning, and got the ball back near midfield after a punt from Jeff Locke with no timeouts after the two-minute warning. However, on the first play of the drive, Case Keenum connected with Adam Thielen, who had the ball stripped away by Glover Quin. The Lions recovered, and ran out the clock to secure the victory.
The offense struggled mightily in this one, as you’d imagine in a game where they only scored seven points. Case Keenum completed just 16-of-30 passes for 209 yards and no touchdowns. Stefon Diggs led the Vikings in receiving once again, catching five passes for 98 yards. Adam Thielen chipped in with five receptions of his own for 59 yards, and Kyle Rudolph had two late catches for 34 yards.
Cook finished this game with 13 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown, and Latavius Murray. . .who we’re probably going to be seeing a lot more of in the future. . .carried seven times for 21 yards in relief. The Vikings sacked Matthew Stafford six times, with Danielle Hunter and Eric Kendricks collecting two sacks each, with one each for Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph. Turnovers killed the Vikings in this one, as they coughed it up three times, with two of them early in the third quarter leading to 11 straight Lions’ points.
Minnesota falls to 2-2 on the season, and will travel to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field next week on Monday Night Football. The Lions move to 3-1 and move into a first place tie with the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North. and will host the Carolina Panthers next week.
The bigger story, however, is the injury to Dalvin Cook. He was seen on the Vikings’ sideline after going back to the locker room, but he hasn’t had any tests that might reveal the extent of his knee injury. Once we have news on that, we will bring it to you.
The Vikings fall at U.S. Bank Stadium to the Detroit Lions by a final score of 14-7. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman.