Detroit News sports reporters Josh Katzenstein and John Niyo break down Sunday's game.


First down

Joique Bell has perhaps been the brightest spot on the Lions offense the past month, even with Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford having excellent games the previous two weeks.

In Sunday's win over the Vikings, Bell finished with 15 carries for 62 yards and four receptions for 41 yards. He also had a 29-yard catch called back due to an unnecessary holding penalty on tight end Brandon Pettigrew.

"He's been great," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "He was plugging it up between the tackles, making big runs for us, catching the ball out of the backfield for us, doing all sorts of stuff. We've asked him to do quite a bit, and he's shouldered the load."

Reggie Bush is the big name, and Theo Riddick has had a few good games. But Bell is the star of the Lions backfield, and the Lions will need him to continue running well if they hope to make a playoff run.

As has been the case most of the year, Bell had his best runs late in the game and had four carries for 31 yards on the game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. He's had at least 100 yards from scrimmage in three of the past four games.

"He's a grinder," coach Jim Caldwell said.

Second down

While Bell had a strong performance, the rest of the Lions offense struggled against the Vikings. Even though Minnesota has a solid defense, they were missing three starters due to injury, so the Lions should've had more than 233 total yards.

Of course, the win is the most important number from the game, and coach Jim Caldwell reminded me of that when I asked about the offensive issues.

"Make no apologies for it," he said. "For us to win, I'm not going to apologize for that. That's your guys' job to talk about all the ills. I'm happy that these guys were able to get it done. It's a tough situation.

"I'm not apologizing for wins and most of the people that are here probably shouldn't either for the most part. This team has been battling, fighting. I hope none of our guys come in here and apologize for 16 points."

Third down

Sunday could've been Ndamukong Suh's last home game with the Lions, and some fans near the Lions bench were shouting to Suh that he should stay.

Fellow defensive tackle C.J. Mosley, who is also a free agent, was caught on camera mimicking the crowd.

"Don't go baby," he said to Suh. "Don't go."

Suh's decision is likely months away, but the Lions players all know they can't afford to lose him.

Fourth down

I hate to pull a Jim Schwartz, but clearly, some people need a better understanding of the rules.

When Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes went down with an injury after Minnesota stopped the Lions short on third-and-6 on the second-to-last drive of the game, many fans at Ford Field booed, thinking he was faking an injury.

In the NFL, faking an injury inside the final two minutes does no good, and the injury actually hurt the Vikings. Any injury in the last two minutes forces a team to call a timeout. If it doesn't have a timeout, the clock will run after the officials reset the play clock.

The clock ran for seven seconds after the Vikings tackled Joique Bell because Rhodes was down. Then, the refs put a fresh 40 seconds on the game clock and the Lions ran it down before punting, so the Vikings only had 45 seconds left for their last-ditch comeback effort.

Sure, there are times to boo, but when a player is injured is not among them.

Speaking of Schwartz, his Bills finished 4-0 against the NFC North with Sunday's win over the Packers.