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Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions: Fourth quarter discussion

The Vikings lead by a touchdown going into the final quarter

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After the crazy finish to the first half, the Minnesota Vikings came out of the locker room with a 14-9 lead over the Detroit Lions, and they got the ball first after deferring to the second half after winning the coin toss. The kickoff from Sam Martin went for a touchback, and Kirk Cousins got the half started with a pass to Adam Thielen for 13 yards. Dalvin Cook then carried twice for 22 yards to move the Vikings into Detroit territory, and a short pass to Latavius Murray moved the chains again to the Detroit 36.

Murray then carried for five, and Cook broke off another big run, this one for 18 yards, and the Vikings were inside the red zone at the Detroit 13. Murray then ran for no gain and Cousins found Kyle Rudolph for a gain of one to bring up 3rd-and-9 from the Detroit 12. Cousins connected with Thielen, but he was short of the first down by a couple of yards. On came Dan Bailey for his first field goal attempt of the afternoon, this one a 24-yard try, and he split the uprights to extend the Vikings’ lead to 17-9.

Bailey’s kickoff went into the end zone for a touchback, giving Matthew Stafford and company a start from their own 25-yard line for their first possession of the second half. He connected with his favorite target, Kenny Golladay, for a gain of one to start the drive, and LeGarrette Blount was stopped for a short gain to make it 3rd-and-7. Stafford misfired for Golladay on third down, and that was a three-and-out for the home team! Sam Martin came in to punt again, and Brandon Zylstra called for the fair catch at the Minnesota 25.

Cook got things started with a gain of four, and Cousins then overthrew Aldrick Robinson on second down to bring up 3rd-and-6. Cousins hit Thielen, but his momentum carried him out of bounds short of the sticks, and Matt Wile came in to punt it away. Jamal Agnew fielded the punt and got the ball to the Detroit 13 to start the next possession for the home team.

Zach Zenner broke off a nice run for the Lions to start their drive, but it was called back by a hold on Golladay. Zenner got the ball again on 1st-and-16 and picked up five yards, and Stafford threw incomplete under pressure on second down to make it third-and-long. Then, the Vikings finally got their first sack of the day, as Everson Griffen took down Stafford to force another three-and-out. Martin came in to punt again, and Zylstra got an opportunity to get a short return to the Minnesota 47.

Cousins started the drive with a throw to Rudolph for a first down into Detroit territory at the 42. Rudolph was then flagged for a false start to make it a 1st-and-15. Cook was stopped for a short gain, and then Cousins hit Rudolph again to make it 3rd-and-1 from the Detroit 33. Cook plowed through for four yards to move the chains, and then picked up another short gain on first down. Mike Remmers was then called for holding on second down to make it 2nd-and-18, and that’s where we stand as we move on to the fourth quarter.

After three quarters of play at Ford Field, the Minnesota Vikings lead the Detroit Lions by a score of 17-9. Can they hold on and get one step closer to the 2018 NFC playoffs?