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Plays that Changed the Game: Week 5 Lions at Vikings

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Wanted to start something a little different after the games. There are small plays that change every game. Good example being the holding play last week against Kendricks on 4th and goal. It’s easy to forget some of them as the game goes along. I kept some notes this week.

Q1 10:42 Lions possession 3rd and 9 from the MN 21. Patrick Peterson knocks away a pass that would’ve been enough for a 1st down. This was a few plays after Breeland tried and failed at the same thing.

Q1 9:57 Viking possession 3rd and 6 from the Vikings’ 29. 37 yard pass to Justin Jefferson. Could’ve been an early 3 and out after the Lions got a FG on their first drive. Nice conversion and a huge play to get the team close to FG range. JJ had another 3rd down conversion, but the team still had to settle for a FG.

Q1 5:04 Lions possession 3rd and 5 from the Detroit 30. Illegal hands to the face on Everson Griffen. It was a correct call and a bad penalty by Ev. Kept the drive going.

Q1 1:00 Lions possession 2nd and 18 from MN 31. Everson and Hunter meet at the QB to force a fumble recovered by B Lynch. Huge play to take away a FG attempt at worst for the Lions. Everson also got a sack the play before this for an 8 yard loss.

Q2 14:24 Viking possession 2nd and 10 from the MN 48. Pass behind Justin Jefferson is tipped up and looks like it will be intercepted. Instead of giving up on the play JJ comes back and knocks the ball down. Sneaky good play that ends up being huge in a tied game early. Vikes end up with a FG on the possession after an iffy holding call on Herndon.

Q2 6:44 Lions possession 4th and 2 from the Detroit 45. The Lions decide to punt and the punt is covered well. Kris Boyd gets blocked back into Dede Westbrook. Westbrook makes a nice catch to secure the ball. I thought this was a potential turnover and Westbrook did well to keep his concentration on the ball. Veteran play by Westbrook and one that will keep him employed for a while. Maybe I am making more of this, but I thought it was huge.

Q2 3:30 Viking possession 1st and 10 from Detroit 32. Play was a 2 yard gain, but a phantom roughing that passer penalty moved the ball all the way down to the 15. This was the Vikings’ only TD drive and I think the penalty was huge to get them closer. Could makeup for the weak holding call on Herndon earlier in the game.

Q2 1:06 Lions possession 3rd and 8 from Detroit 37. Short pass to Cephus taken for 21 yards after Patrick Peterson misses a tackle that would’ve forced a punt. Not only do the Lions get a FG, the Vikings decide to sit on it on the ensuing possession. 13-6 at the half and only a 1 score lead. Would’ve been a two score lead with a chance at a score for the Vikings if Peterson makes the tackle.

Q3 14:54 Viking possession 1st and 10 from MN 25. 1st play of the 2nd half and for some reason Hill is out there instead of Darrisaw. Hill gets run over for the sack and it leads to a 3 and out. Could’ve been an opening possession for the Vikings to take a larger lead and it was killed.

Q3 10:08 Lions possession 2nd and 6 at the MN 28. Eric Kendricks comes down with a one handed pick and brings it back to the MN 37. Very promising drive for the Lions that is ended by the Vikings’ best LB. Huge play that took 3 points away from Detroit (or more).

Q3 8:43 Viking possession 3rd and 1 from MN 46. Illegal Block Chris Herndon, 15 yard penalty. Took a 3rd down conversion and made it 3rd and 16. Another 3 and out from the offense and a wasted opportunity to turn a turnover into points. I thought the call was close, but probably correct.

Q3 2:38 Viking possession 1st and 10 from MN 27. Alexander Mattison 48 yard run. Huge gain the get into scoring position. A nice punt from Detroit had this drive starting deep in Viking territory. Mattison had a nice run to get a big gain. It is one that Cook likely takes in for a score, but Mattison just doesn’t have that explosiveness. Still, a big play that was wasted a few plays later.

Q3 1:19 Viking possession 2nd and 8 from Detroit 23. Interception at the 21. Kirk bullets a ball into traffic to KJ Osborn and the ball tips up and easily intercepted by a LB. Kirk tried to make a play and it just wasn’t the right call. Too much traffic and a nice defensive play. Took 3 points off the board for the Vikes.

Q4 12:01 Lions possession 1st and 10 from Detroit 21. Defensive Pass Interference Breeland. Not that big of a play, just want to point out Breeland playing poorly all day and then acting like a jerk egging on the crowd after another bad play. He is not good and hasn’t been playing well. He is the worst rated CB in the league according to PFF. This play got a Detroit drive going that ended up stalling, but it could’ve been huge in a close game.

Q4 5:16 Viking possession 3rd and 16 from Detroit 45. 8 yard reception by KJ Osborn to get to the Detroit 37. This play got them in FG range and Joseph hit the 55 yarder. Put the Vikings back up by two scores and this ended up being huge in this game. Simple play, but smart to get those yards and get yourself in FG range.

Q4 3:56 Lions possession 3rd and 3 from MN 45. Offensive Holding J Jackson. The holding call took back a 18 yard gain and forced the Lions back. They ended up turning the ball over on downs a few plays later.

Q4 3:22 Viking possession 4th and 7 from Detroit 31. Missed 49 yard FG. Joseph inexplicably left the kick short. It was right down the middle and he left it short. Opened the door for the Lions. Vikings tried to just run the clock and kick the FG. Weak attempt here IMO.

Q4 2:00 Viking possession 3rd and 7 from MN 21. Mattison fumbles to open the door for the Lions. The Vikings would’ve been punting with around 1:20 left in the game and the Lions with no TOs.

Q4 0:37 Lions possession 1st and goal at MN 7. For some reason Zim decides not to use a TO. Lions take 34 seconds off the clock and the run it in for the score. If the Vikings stop him they likely lose the game and Detroit probably would’ve scored with 3 more downs. Lions go for 2 and take the lead 17-16.

Q4 last drive of the game. Instead of writing these out I will just jumble them in one. It is the two Thielen catches. After a 0 reception day (including a drop and a called back catch) Thielen came through with 40 yards to get the team in FG range. Greg Joseph nails the 54 yard FG to win the game. Thielen is always ready to produce, even after a slow day for him personally.

Let me know what you think of the format. I thought about doing the 5 biggest plays or something shorter, but thought I would roll with this for the 1st article.

It’s hard when you have a game winning FG, but I’ll put in a poll. I’ll limit that to 5 plays.


What was the biggest play in the game?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Sack/Fumble forced by Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter
    (19 votes)
  • 8%
    Kenricks 1 Handed INT
    (76 votes)
  • 0%
    Vikings Intercepted on the edge of the Red Zone
    (9 votes)
  • 25%
    Alexander Mattison fumble right after the two minute warning
    (232 votes)
  • 63%
    54 Yard FG to Win, Greg Joseph coming up big after missing an easy one against Arizona to win
    (581 votes)
917 votes total Vote Now