Trailing the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 17-6, the Detroit Lions got the privilege of getting the football to start the second half of play at U.S. Bank Stadium, having deferred after winning the opening coin toss. Dan Bailey’s kickoff went through the end zone for another touchback, giving Matthew Stafford and company the ball at their own 25. The Lions turned to Kerryon Johnson on their first two plays, with the Vikings holding them to bring up a 3rd-and-4 from the 31. Stafford went back to pass, and was dropped by
Sebastian Thunderbucket Tom Johnson, for yet another Minnesota sack, forcing a three-and-out! Sam Martin came in to punt it away, and Marcus Sherels called for a fair catch at the Minnesota 29.
Latavius Murray picked up nine yards on the Vikings’ first play, and Kirk Cousins then executed a sneak into the middle of the Lions’ defense to pick up three more and a first down. A short run by Murray and a short pass from Cousins to Kyle Rudolph brought up a 3rd-and-2. Adam Thielen was then called for a false start to make it a 3rd-and-7. Cousins, undeterred, then found Aldrick Robinson for a nice catch to move the sticks into Detroit territory. Two plays later, the Vikings found themselves looking at 3rd-and-6 from the Detroit 43, and Cousins threw a beautiful long pass over Darius Slay that went right through Robinson’s hands. Matt Wile punted it away, and the Vikings’ special teams did its job with Marcus Sherels and Jayron Kearse combining to down the punt at the 3-yard line.
The Lions got some breathing room on a run by Kerryon Johnson to start their drive, and picked up a first down on a second consecutive carry. Stafford was then dragged down by Danielle Hunter for Hunter’s second sack of the afternoon. Stafford then completed a pass to Marvin Jones, who had the ball stripped away by Xavier Rhodes, only to have it bounce out of bounds. Stafford went for Jones again on third down, but the pass fell incomplete. Sam Martin came in to punt again, and Marcus Sherels called for the fair catch at the Minnesota 41.
Cousins found Thielen for a quick six yard gain to start the next drive, and Latavius Murray was stopped on second down to bring up 3rd-and-3. Cousins’ pass for Thielen fell incomplete, and Matt Wile came on to punt again. Brandon Powell called for a fair catch at the Detroit 14.
Kerryon Johnson got things started for the Lions again with a short gain, and then Stafford found Jones for a first down to the 31-yard line. Johnson then took an end-around for about five yards, but Mackensie Alexander recorded the Vikings’ seventh sack of the afternoon on the next play, taking down Stafford to set up a 3rd-and-13 from the 28. Then, on the next play, Everson Griffen recorded sack #8 of Stafford to end the drive. Sam Martin came in to punt it away, and Marcus Sherels called for the fair catch at the Minnesota 21-yard line.
As we go to the fourth quarter, that’s where we’re at, with the Vikings looking at 1st-and-10 from their own 21.
Fifteen minutes left at U.S. Bank Stadium, and the Vikings are on track to get their first home win over the Lions since 2015, leading by a score of 17-6. Can they hang on for the victory?