Detroit — In the Detroit Lions’ biggest December home game since 2017, in front of a packed Ford Field crowd, the team denied the Minnesota Vikings a chance to win the NFC North Crown, but kept playoff hopes alive. strengthened.
The Lions received significant contributions in all three phases, defeating the division-leading Vikings and avenging their early season defeat. Quarterback Jared Goff longed his touchdown pass, which he threw twice and the defense was red. A boosting, offensive pass to his tackle Penacey Well was sealed in the final minutes. .
Box scores: Lions 34, Vikings 23
“The players know how I was feeling about this game all week,” Lions manager Dan Campbell said. , it hurts when you fall in the dumps and you’re where you were (with a 1-6 record).It’s easy to lose credibility’, but these guys never did and we We have remained true to what we do.
“Now we’re playing. We’re playing one more,” Campbell said. “And we’ve been able to overcome some of these mistakes we’ve made before. Our players know they belong. Anyone. it’s truth.”
The win was Detroit’s fifth in their last six games and improved the team to 6-7 on the season. In the NFC playoff race, he won a game against the New York Giants (7-5-1), which was defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles. It is his seventh time this season that the Lions have scored his 30 or more in a single game.
The game was a back and forth struggle until Detroit closed the door in the second half with a pair of long touchdown drives.
After scoring a point on each of their first eight possessions last week, the Lions made a three-and-out to start this contest, but the defense forced a turnover on downs near midfield and the offense quickly fell to the ground. I managed to start scoring when I took advantage of it. Favorable field position.
In the second snap of the second series, Jameson Williams went wide open with a run fake, and Goff put the ball to the rookie’s wide receiver for a 41-yard touchdown, the first reception of his career. .
“I’m glad it was his first pitcher. They broke the coverage there. I didn’t throw a very good ball,” Goff said. “… It looked like he kicked me, but I caught him.”
The Vikings have responded behind a steady stream of contributions from their star players. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson and running back Dalvin Cook combined for 51 yards and scored four first downs on the ensuing drive, with Cook tying the score from yards out and across the goal line.
Following an offensive lull in which the Lions failed to force down attempts and both sides traded punts, Detroit came up with another quick strike to regain the lead.
Return man Caliph Raymond kick-started things by putting a punt back into Viking territory 35 yards before Goff delivered a perfect deep ball to DJ Chark on the first possession play for a 48-yard touchdown . It’s the first time since 2018 that Goff threw twice in a game where he had a touchdown over 40 yards.
Of the recent advent of deep pass attacks, Goff said, “Yeah, it completely changes our attacks and the whole way we do things, and the whole thought process when you have two guys like that.” “It’s a lot of fun as a quarterback when you have a player who’s healthy at the receiver and you can have that kind of explosive, splash play.”
Once again, Minnesota looked ready to counter-punch, going deep into Lions territory thanks to two third-down converting passes by Kirk Cousins to tight ends TJ Hockenson and Jefferson. Cousins found Jefferson another 20 yards into the red zone, but on the first goal from the 3-yard line, Cook got the ball knocked out by defensive lineman Isaiah Baggs and rookie safety Kirby Joseph recovered a fumble for under 1. 1 minute left in the first half.
Teammate Aidan Hutchinson said, “Bugz played when he needed it. It was huge.”
The Lions had a chance to extend their lead to 10 before the break, but kicker Michael Badgley (NFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week) missed a field goal 47 yards to left. This was his second absence since joining the Lions in October.
The Vikings got nothing to start the 3rd quarter, and the Lions also looked poised to punt on their first attempt, but safety CJ Moore snapped directly to Fake and converted. ran 42 yards for
“I put a lot of trust in our peers because we knew the look they were going to give us,” Campbell said. I’ve seen all kinds of looks and they made it work and I trust Moore.”
Breathing new life into Goff completed the following four passes: This included Red his third and his 12th crucial throws to Raymond in his zone, and on the next snap his toss was set up for his 5-yard touchdown to Reynolds. rice field. This gave the Lions a 21-7 lead.
Goff finished the game 27 of 39 for 330 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. The six Lions caught multiple passes, and Chark scored a long touchdown for 94 yards on his six grabs.
Still, the Vikings quietly refused to go. Despite eating a sack on the drive’s first play, Cousins recovered with a 21-yard dart to Hockenson across the center, followed by a 42-yard dart to Jefferson. The Lions defense settled after a big gain to force the Vikings to a fourth down, but they wanted a touchdown, not a field goal, so the opposition asked for it.
Picking up the Detroit blitz, Cousins found Adam Thielen on the left sideline. From there, the receiver dodged a tackle attempt by Mike Hughes and scooted into the end zone for a 23-yard score. A failed 2-point conversion attempt put the deficit at 8, 21-13 heading into the fourth quarter.
But even when the pressure mounted, Goff remained calm and composed, completing first down passes to four different receivers and sending the Lions back into the red zone. Running back Justin Jackson picked up a huge block from the block right at the tight end and won a footrace to the far left of the formation before diving into the pylons, giving the Lions the next two points. Extra point, 28-13, 13:28 remaining.
Cousins and Jefferson came back swinging on a 47-yard connection to open up Minnesota’s next possession, only for Hutchinson to sack Cousins on first down and hit the quarterback again on third down, giving him an unsuccessful run. Perfection was forced. This left the Vikings with little choice but to settle for a 41-yard Greg Joseph field goal, cutting their lead to 12.
The Lions fell short of scoring their third straight touchdown, but got the next best move nearly seven minutes behind the clock before Badgley hit back a 41-yard field goal with 4:06 remaining. Now 31-16.
Minnesota did what it took to survive after Badgley’s kick, running 75 yards in 76 seconds. His 39-yard pass to Jefferson was the key play, leading to his 15-yard touchdown his pass from Cousins to his KJ Osborne (Ypsilanti). However, hopes faded when Lions linebacker Josh Woods recovered the ensuing onside kick.
From there, Lyons was able to run out the clock with a slight dizzying light. With the Vikings in position to crack the game one more time to tie the game, Sewell reported qualifying and caught a first-down third-down pass.
“It was part of a package that could be used in the redzone if needed,” Campbell said. “It felt like the right time to bring it up. We had a good practice rep at it.”
Badgley added a 49-yard field goal with 17 seconds left to salt the win.
Offensive tackle Taylor Decker Siad said, “It’s as good as I’ve felt my entire career here, and I’ve never been more confident.” Challenge from the front. It feels just right. ”
Following the win, the Lions head out on the road for the first time in a month to face the upstart New York Jets, who fell 7-6 on the season in a 20-12 loss to Buffalo on Sunday.