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Minnesota Vikings 19, Detroit Lions 17: Joseph’s late field goal gives Vikings victory

The Vikings got it done against a division rival

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings got an opportunity to host a Detroit Lions team that was coming in undermanned and, by the time the game kicked off, were 10-point underdogs to the purple. It should have been an easy one for the home team.

But, as we know, nothing comes easy for the Minnesota Vikings, even if they do achieve the desired result.

Despite a disastrous late fumble from Alexander Mattison, the Minnesota Vikings got a 54-yard field goal from Greg Joseph at the gun to sneak away with a 19-17 victory over the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Detroit got on the board first, turning the first possession of the game into a 39-yard field goal from Austin Seibert to take an early 3-0 lead. The Vikings answered with a field goal of their own on their first possession, as Greg Joseph connected from 38 yards out to tie things at 3-3.

The Lions appeared to be ready to put more points on the board on their second possession, but Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter met at the quarterback and forced a fumble that was recovered by James Lynch to end the drive.

Minnesota could only turn the turnover into a field goal, another 38-yarder from Joseph, to take a 6-3 lead early in the second quarter. After forcing a punt from the Lions, Minnesota finally got into the end zone for the first time on the afternoon, as Alexander Mattison took a short pass from Kirk Cousins and turned it into a 15-yard touchdown to extend Minnesota’s lead to 13-3.

Detroit got another field goal before halftime, a 52-yarder from Seibert to cut the Minnesota lead to 13-6. The Vikings went three-and-out to start the half and Detroit appeared to be on their way to responding before an incredible one-handed interception by Eric Kendricks put an end to a potential scoring drive.

There weren’t any points scored in the third quarter, as Cousins had an interception of his own on a pass that appeared to bounce off of K.J. Osborn’s head and into the hands of Detroit linebacker Alex Anzalone for a pick, his second of the year. Both offenses continued to struggle throughout the second half, but the Vikings eventually broke through late in the fourth quarter. Greg Joseph connected on a career-long 55-yard field goal to give the Vikings a 16-6 lead with just under four and a half minutes remaining in regulation.

The Vikings’ defense forced the Lions into going for it on a 4th-and-15 on the next possession, and D.J. Wonnum sacked Goff to get Minnesota the ball back. The Vikings had a chance to add more points, but Joseph’s 49-yard field goal attempt was short. . .yes, after he nailed the 55-yarder. . .to keep Detroit alive. Detroit responded with a 40-yard field goal from Seibert to cut the Vikings’ lead to 16-9 with two and a half minutes remaining.

The Vikings handed it off to Mattison after the two-minute warning. . .and he fumbled it at the Minnesota 12-yard line in a disastrous turn of events. The Lions took advantage on a 7-yard touchdown run from D’Andre Swift and then got a two-point conversion to make it 17-16 with 37 seconds left. The Vikings got Greg Joseph into position to attempt another 54-yard field goal, and he split the uprights to give the Vikings a 19-17 victory.

That was a whole lot more difficult than it needed to be, folks. The Vikings got a big game from Alexander Mattison and Justin Jefferson and still had to struggle to put away an undermanned Lions team on their home turf.

The Vikings have one more game before their bye week, as they travel to Carolina next week to take on the Panthers. Hopefully the offense will figure out their issues at some point between now and then.

The Minnesota Vikings made it difficult, but they managed to defeat the (now) 0-5 Detroit Lions by a final score of 19-17 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 5 NFL action. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!