The Minnesota Vikings got off to an slow start on Sunday afternoon against the Detroit Lions, but thanks to a tough defense and one huge, momentum shifting play, they got the job done against their division rivals.
The Vikings defeated the Lions at Ford Field on Sunday afternoon by a final score of 27-9, moving them one step closer to a return to the 2018 NFC playoffs.
The purple didn’t pick up their initial first down until the midway point of the second quarter, going three-and-out on their first four possessions. Despite that, all the Lions could manage was three field goals by Matt Prater to take a 9-0 lead. Minnesota finally got on the board just after the two-minute warning, as Kirk Cousins found Stefon Diggs for an 8-yard score to cut the deficit to 9-7.
Kirk Cousins to Stefon Diggs for the touchdownpic.twitter.com/nYkNb4JJbH— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 23, 2018
After forcing a three-and-out, the Vikings got one final possession before halftime, and Cousins made the most of it on the final play of the second quarter.
Cousins to Rudolph (via @TheCheckdown) pic.twitter.com/qQIm7ebQhj— The MMQB (@theMMQB) December 23, 2018
The Hail Mary toss from Cousins to Kyle Rudolph allowed the Vikings to, somehow, take a 14-9 lead into the locker room, and they added to the lead on the first possession of the third quarter with a 24-yard field goal by Dan Bailey to make it 17-9.
That’s how it stayed until the early portion of the fourth quarter, when Cousins found your (likely) 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year for the second time, this one a 4-yard score to increase the Minnesota lead to 24-9.
Rudolph The Red Zone Reindeer pic.twitter.com/aFJdsgNdb7— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 23, 2018
The Vikings tacked on three more points near the end of the fourth quarter following a Detroit turnover on downs, as Bailey connected from 29 yards out to make the score 27-9. That’s how it ended, as the Vikings got their second consecutive win and moved closer to a spot in the 2018 NFC playoffs.
After the rough start, Kirk Cousins’ numbers actually looked pretty solid. He completed 21-of-28 passes for 253 yards and three touchdown passes. The big beneficiary was Rudolph, who set a career high with 122 receiving yards on nine catches to go along with the two touchdowns. Adam Thielen chipped in with five grabs for 80 yards, and Dalvin Cook had 35 yards on three catches. Stefon Diggs was limited to just two catches for ten yards, but one of them was the Vikings’ first score.
After only rushing for 15 yards in the first half, Dalvin Cook turned it around in the second half and finished with 73 yards on 16 carries. Latavius Murray had 22 yards on nine carries in a support role.
The Vikings’ defense, while not sacking Matthew Stafford as frequently as they did in the team’s first meeting. . .they managed just three on the day. . .still did a great job of limiting the Detroit offense. They allowed just the three field goals, and Stafford threw for just 116 yards on the afternoon. The Lions pulled him late in the fourth quarter for former Vikings’ quarterback Matt Cassel, who didn’t do a whole lot, either.
The win for the Vikings moves their record to 8-6-1, and they’ll end their season. . .as is their wont. . .with a game at home against the NFC North champion Chicago Bears in Week 17. The Lions fall to 5-10, and they’ll finish their season at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers.
The Minnesota Vikings overcome a slow start to batter the Detroit Lions in Week 16 action by a final score of 27-9. Thank you to everybody that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!