Vikings Fail to Take Lead in Division, Fall to Lions
Just like their last meeting against the Lions three weeks ago, the Vikings found a way blow a lead late in the game.
Leading 13-10, the Lions had the ball at their own two-yard line with 5:02 remaining in the game. They marched down the field and tied the game on a Matt Prater 48-yard field goal. Sam Bradford was then intercepted by Darius Slay and the Lions nailed another field goal (40 yards) to win 16-13 on Thanksgiving Day.
The NFC North leader was to be determined by this matchup, and due to the great play by Detroit, they've pulled ahead to first place. The Lions are now 7-4 and the Vikings are 6-5. The Lions also hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, essentially making it a two-game lead. The Vikings can still get in as a wild card team, but with only five games remaining, they need to get it together fast or they will be watching the entire playoffs from their couches.
The Vikings defense played well enough to win, but just like the last meeting, they could not make a stop when it mattered the most.
“A heartbreaker like that,” left guard Alex Boone said, “believe me, it hurts.” (startribune.com)
The Lions took a 7-0 on the first possession of the game on a two-yard touchdown from Matthew Stafford to Anquan Boldin. They led 10-7 at halftime and the Vikings continued to play lights out defense until the very end.
Bradford went 31-37 for 224 yards and that crucial interception at the end. Jerick McKinnon rushed for 31 yards on nine carries. Matt Asiata rushed for 27 yards on five carries and had the only touchdown of the game (five yards) for the Vikings. Kyle Rudolph had nine receptions for 64 yards. Adam Thielen had eight receptions for 53 yards. Stefon Diggs missed the game with a knee injury.
Stafford went 23/40 for 232 yards and a touchdown. Golden Tate had five receptions for 77 yards. Boldin had seven receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown.
“Tough one to lose today,” coach Mike Zimmer (startribune.com)
This was their toughest loss of the season. They had a chance to redeem themselves against their division rivals and take the lead back and they flat out blew it.
After starting the season red hot at 5-0, it looked like this team may possibly contend for a Super Bowl. After losing their fifth game in the last six, a playoff spot may not even be a reality this year.
Up next: The Vikings return home and face the red hot Dallas Cowboys next Thursday.