Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford had just a few impressive plays, but his decision-making was the highlight for the Lions. Stafford and the offense didn't have a single turnover, and in a defensive struggle, protecting the ball was as important as the big plays. Stafford finished 17 of 28 for 153 yards and one touchdown.

Grade: B-

Running backs: Joique Bell has been a highlight for the Lions offense over the last month and had 103 yards from scrimmage Sunday. He had 15 carries for 62 yards, including four carries for 31 on the game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, and added four catches for 41 yards. Meanwhile, Reggie Bush (three carries for 7 yards, 10-yard catch) and Theo Riddick (4-yard carry) didn't add much.

Grade: B+

Wide receivers: Golden Tate's seven catches for 38 yards don't jump off the stat sheet, but he gained some tough yards throughout the game and scored on a 7-yard touchdown while following his blockers. Calvin Johnson had just a 4-yard catch in the first half, but finished with four catches for 53 yards, including a 23-yard reception on the game-winning drive. Jeremy Ross and Corey Fuller didn't catch a pass, and Ross dropped what could've been a touchdown.

Grade: C+

Tight ends: Brandon Pettigrew had a holding penalty that negated a 29-yard screen to Bell and didn't have a target in the pass game. Eric Ebron had a big 11-yard reception and threw a key block on the only touchdown, but otherwise, this group continues to underwhelm.

Grade: D+

Offensive line: For just the second time all season, the Lions didn't give up a sack. The offensive line also didn't have a single penalty and ran block as well as it has all season. The Vikings were without a couple key starters in the front seven, but the Lions' line played well against the guys on the field.

Grade: A

Defensive line: It wasn't the eight-sack performance from Week 6, but after a slow start, the defensive line repeatedly pressured Teddy Bridgwater and sacked him four times. The Lions also had seven tackles for loss, held the Vikings running backs to 46 yards and Jason Jones blocked a field goal.

Grade: A-

Linebackers: DeAndre Levy had 11 tackles, Tahir Whitehead had nine and even though there were some tackling issues, they brought guys down most times they had the chance. Each guy had a tackle for loss, too.

Grade: B+

Secondary: A couple long pass plays set up the Vikings' first-quarter touchdowns, but the secondary improved quickly after a rough start. Glover Quin's interception shifted the game completely and set up the Lions' only touchdown, and Darius Slay's interception on the next drive kept momentum on the Detroit side.

Grade: B+

Special teams: Sam Martin's 30-yard punt before the Vikings' final drive was certainly a lowlight, and Marcus Sherels returned another punt 35 yards. Jeremy Ross' 14-yard punt return was the Lions' highlight in the return game. Matt Prater made three field goals, but Jason Jones' blocked field goal was clearly the highlight.

Grade: C+

Coaches: As has happened a few times this year, Teryl Austin's defensive adjustments made a huge difference in the game after a rough start. Coach Jim Caldwell could've been more aggressive, as usual, and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi telegraphed a few plays. But with the team aware of Green Bay's loss, the coaches kept the players focused and motivated in a crucial game.

Grade: B+

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/jkatzenstein

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE