Once again, the Detroit Lions took the win right in front of them. They had a two-goal lead going into the second half and needed to receive the ball to start the third quarter. They had just played one of their best offensive quarterbacks in the second period, with Jared Goff looking like the aggressive passer we haven’t seen since 2018 with the Rams.
Then everything collapsed in the second half. The Lions offense has managed just three points in the last two quarters, Goff thanks to an absolutely inexcusable interception, and the inexperienced Detroit coaching staff made another highly questionable decision down the home stretch that has put the players in a difficult position.
In the end, the Lions lost 14 points as the Vikings scored with just under two minutes to go. The same old story….
Jared Goff led the Lions to a winning score of 1:50 in the last game of the game, a touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown. Detroit took the field by storm with its first win of the season.
Here is how it happened.
The Lions won the toss and delayed which turned out to be a decent strategy. The Vikings managed to snag a few first downs, but thanks to some pressure on Charles Harris ‘second down and an excellent open field tackle on Jerry Jacobs’ third down, the Lions offense got the ball on its own line of. 20 meters. Of note, the Lions lost Nick Williams to a wrist injury and the Vikings lost Adam Thielen to an ankle injury.
Detroit, however, would return the ball on the downs. A drop from TJ Hockenson placed the Lions in third and 10, and a 9-yard gain from Kalif Raymond gave Detroit fourth and 1 from their own 42-yard line. Jared Goff tried to squeeze it in, but it missed a few inches.
The Vikings would pass to enter the range, but that was it. Jacobs made another great freefield tackle to force a fourth down and Vikings kicker Greg Joseph was good at 41 yards. 3-0 Vikings.
The Lions responded with a quick three-and-out after two ineffective runs and a third miscommunication down the left side of the line that left a Vikings defenseman unlocked for an easy sack.
The Vikings responded with a play pass to Justin Jefferson, who took a few steps on Amani Oruwariye, and picked up 34 yards. The defense would eventually get another save after a strong linebacking streak, including a loss tackle from Derrick Barnes and a good cover save from Josh Woods. Joseph, however, would have pulled a 31-yard field goal to do so. 6-0 Vikings.
With a 9-yard pass to Jamaal Williams and an 8-yard run from Jermar Jefferson, the Lions pushed the ball into midfield late in the quarter.
On the first play of the quarter, Goff targeted Hockenson for a big pass from 25 yards. Hockenson was hammered on the play, giving the Lions 14 extra yards for roughing.
Two plays later, Goff went straight back to Hockenson for a 9-yard touchdown pass and a 7-6 Lions mean.
The Vikings kick turner, who has been very dangerous for the past month or two, showed just how dangerous he can be with a 44-yard return. But the Lions defense played a big role when Charles Harris sacked Kirk Cousins and Julian Okwara got him back
The Lions conceded almost immediately, as Goff continued to attack the Vikings’ backup linebackers. This time around, he found tight end Brock Wright for an impressive shot and 23 yards. 14-6 Lions.
The Vikings would again be sidelined in the end zone, as Charles Harris picked up another sack, forcing a third and long. The cousins decided to check it out, giving the ball to Detroit, but deep in their own zone after a nice punt from Jordan Berry.
But the Detroit offensive continued to buzz well. Starting from their own 10-yard line with 7:06 left in the half, the Lions were nearly clocking in with a good mix of running and passing. But on the two-minute warning, the Lions’ practice stalled and Detroit was content with a 31-yard field from rookie Riley Patterson. 17-6 Lions.
With 1:33 to go and one time out, the Vikings had the opportunity to reduce Detroit’s lead. And while they were able to penetrate Lions territory, the Cousins threw three consecutive incomplete passes and were sacked by Julian Okwara in fourth place.
This gave the Lions time to increase their lead. A 24-yard strike to Kalif Raymond put Detroit within shooting range. Patterson was good on 41 yards, giving the Lions a 20-6 Lions lead at half-time.
The Lions couldn’t take advantage of having the ball first in the second, quickly making three outs. The Vikings’ offense got to work, using tempo to try and catch the Lions off guard and score quickly. It worked well, as the Vikings quickly moved into the red zone. However, a detention penalty pushed them behind the sticks, and after Amani Oruwariye gave up on an interception, Cousins almost found Tyler Conklin for a touchdown, but he barely landed out of bounds. Vikings would settle for a short field goal, making the score 20-9 Lions.
The Detroit offense started to look familiar again, as Detroit made a second straight down after Goff was sacked by Blake Lynch on the third down.
The Vikes responded with a big shot to Justin Jefferson for 48 yards on the first play of the drive.
A few plays later, Alexander Mattison hit him with an 8-yard touchdown run. The Lions stopped the two-point attempt, leaving the score 20-15 Lions.
A few good runs at Williams shattered the Lions offense with their three-and-out funk. A pass interference penalty to Hockenson put Detroit on the edge of the range, but the attack stalled from there. But Patterson was good at 49 yards, extending the lead to 23-15 Lions.
Jefferson converted a third and 11 key to start the final quarter after slipping behind Jacobs. Again, the Vikings would enter the red zone with relative ease. On the third and the goal, Cousins found KJ Osborn in the back of the end zone for the score.
But the Lions would pack the Vikings again on the two-point conversion to keep the lead with just under 12 minutes to go. 23-21 Lions.
The Lions’ offense has gone to the ground to bleed the clock and extend their lead. Detroit moved to Viking territory, but on a third and 4, Goff attempted to force a ball at Hockenson, ignoring a wide open Amon-Ra St. Brown, and was knocked out.
The Vikings shot each other in the foot on the drive that followed with a hold penalty and a false start that pushed them behind the sticks. Another nice tackle from Jacobs forced a third and long, and Minnesota finally kicked.
With 5:32 to go, the Lions had the chance to run the rest of the time and turn the game around. Instead, the Lions made a bold appeal to try their luck in the fourth and first row from their own 28-yard line. They tried to get tough and perform some play action, but the Vikings didn’t bite at all and Goff was sacked before the play even had a chance.
With the correct position on the pitch, the Vikings both bled and hit the dagger. On the third and goal, the playing action opened Jefferson wide for the go-ahead score. The Vikes missed another two-point conversion, but took the 27-23 The Vikings lead with 1:50 to go.
With no downtime, Goff was able to lead the Lions to the Vikings’ 11-yard line with eight seconds left, leaving Detroit with a few shots to the win. The first landed incomplete. The second … well, you’re just looking: