Last weekend at Lambeau FIeld, the Minnesota Vikings offense decided to ride Dalvin Cook until Green Bay stopped him. They didn’t. So, they figured they’d try the same thing again against another NFC North rival when the Detroit Lions came to U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Lions didn’t stop him, either.
Cook ran for a career-high 206 yards on 22 carries and found the end zone twice, and got some help from a Vikings’ defense that forced three interceptions as the purple got their second win in a row, defeating the Lions by a final score of 34-20.
The Vikings got on the board first, as Dalvin Cook continued his hot streak with a five-yard touchdown run on Minnesota’s first possession after the defense forced a three-and-out. It was his fifth touchdown in the last five quarters, and it gave the home team an early 7-0 lead.
Matt Prater missed a field goal for the Lions on their next possession, and the Vikings put another touchdown on the board, this one on a 9-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to Irv Smith Jr. Unfortunately, Dan Bailey missed the extra point, keeping the score at 13-0 late in the first quarter.
Detroit settled for a 23-yard Matt Prater field goal on the next drive to get themselves on the board at 13-3 after a long drive. They then added a touchdown to their tally, as Matthew Stafford found Marvin Jones from 15 yards out, with Prater’s extra point making it a three-point game at 13-10.
The Vikings answered with a very impressive two-minute drill, concluding with a 21-yard screen pass from Cousins to Ameer Abdullah to make the lead 20-10 going into the locker room. It was the second scoring pass of the game for Cousins and the first score of the season for Abdullah.
Minnesota put up the first points of the second half after another long drive, and the finish was the second touchdown catch of the day for Irv Smith Jr., as he hauled one in from a yard out to make the score 27-10.
The Vikings then forced the game’s first turnover, with linebacker Eric Wilson making a nice interception of Stafford to stop a potential Lions’ scoring drive.
Unfortunately, the Vikings went three-and-out of the drive, and Britton Colquitt has his punt blocked by Austin Bryant to give the Lions the ball deep in Minnesota territory. But, the Vikings’ linebacker corps struck again, as Eric Kendricks picked off Stafford in the end zone for a touchback and the end of another potential Detroit scoring drive.
The Lions cut into the lead early in the fourth quarter on Prater’s second field goal, this one a 45-yarder to make it 27-13 with eleven minutes remaining.
The Vikings then quickly extended the lead back, thanks once again to Dalvin Cook and a monstrous 70-yard touchdown run. Dan Bailey added the extra point, and the lead was quickly back to three touchdowns at 34-13.
The Vikings then picked up another interception, courtesy of Harrison Smith, giving the Vikings’ defense three on the afternoon. Unfortunately, the Lions got another blocked punt after the Vikings went three-and-out in an attempt to run off some clock, and Chase Daniel (in for a concussed Matthew Stafford) completed a 2-yard pass to T.J. Hockenson for a score. That cut the Minnesota lead to 34-20 with just under seven minutes left.
That was all the scoring in this one, as the Vikings got the ball back and just ground down the clock until there was no time for the Lions to add any more to their total, and got out of the game with their second consecutive victory and third win of the 2020 season.
For the second week in a row, Dalvin Cook was the star with his 206-yard performance. He also had a pair of receptions for 46 yards in this one.
Kirk Cousins quietly had a pretty efficient game in this one, as he completed 13-of-20 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Irv Smith Jr. was the recipient of two of those touchdowns, with Ameer Abdullah accounting for the third. Justin Jefferson led the Vikings in receiving yardage with 64 yards on three receptions.
The Vikings move their record to 3-5 on the year, and they’ll continue their tour of the NFC North next week with a trip to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. The Lions fall to 3-5 on the season, and they’ll return to Ford Field to host the Washington Football Team next Sunday.
The Vikings get their third win of the season in a big way at U.S. Bank Stadium, as they defeat the Detroit Lions by a final score of 34-20. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this one right here at The Daily Norseman!