How about those Lions?
Just when it looked like the Vikings had a chance to drive down the field for the winning score, the Lions come up with a clutch turnover and Matt Prater hits a 40-yard field goal as time expires to give Detroit a thrilling 16-13 win.
It was the Lions fifth straight win at home.
After tying the game in the final two minutes, the Vikings got the ball back and appeared to pick up a first down as they approached midfield.
But an illegal formation penalty wiped out the play and cornerback Darius Slay made the Vikings pay.
On the very next play, Slay picked off Sam Bradford and returned it 13 yards to the Minnesota 20 with 38 seconds left, sending the crowd into a frenzy and setting the stage for Prater’s winning kick.
Prater FG ties it at 13 late in fourth
Another Lions game, another down-to-the-wire finish.
After being pinned at their 1-yard line, the Lions drove down the field and used a 48-yard field goal by Matt Prater to tie it at 13 with 1:45 left.
A 7-yard catch by Golden Tate and 7-yard run by Theo Riddick gave the Lions some breathing room to start the drive.
Stafford then completed three straight passes for 53 yards to put the Lions in field-goal range, but none bigger than Anquan Boldin’s 29-yard catch on a third-and-8 at the Lions’ 18-yard line.
On a third-and-1 at the Minnesota 29, Theo Riddick was dropped for a 1-yard loss by linebacker Eric Kendricks to hold the Lions to the field goal attempt.
Defense comes through, Lions trail 13-10
The Lions’ defense had a chance to get ball back but couldn’t come up with a key stop on third down.
After Sam Bradford completed a 9-yard pass to Charles Johnson and Matt Asiata was stuffed for no gain by Tahir Whitehead to set up a third-and-1, fullback Zach Line powered ahead for two yards and a first down.
The second time, though, the defense came through. On a third-and-3 from the Minnesota 28-yard line, linebacker Josh Bynes tackled running back Jerick McKinnon a yard shy of the marker to end the drive.
However, punter Jeff Locke buried the Lions deep in their territory. Detroit takes over at its 1-yard line trailing, 13-10, with 5:02 left.
Offensive woes continue for Lions in second half
It took a while but the Lions finally showed signs of life in the second half.
After safety Andrew Sendejo sacked Matthew Stafford for a 10-yard loss on first down, Minnesota was flagged for offsides and Stafford scrambled around the right end for 15 yards to move the chains.
It didn’t get any better from there, though. Theo Riddick was stopped after a 3-yard gain, Stafford’s intended pass for Marvin Jones was incomplete and Riddick was dropped four yards shy of the first down on third-and-7.
The Vikings take over at their 19-yard line with 9:17 remaining.
Forbath FG puts Vikings up 13-10 in fourth
While the Lions’ offense is still trying to get into gear, the Vikings have seemingly found their groove by stringing together their second straight scoring drive.
After quickly punting the ball back to the Vikings, the Lions’ defense was unable to quell Minnesota momentum as it took a 13-10 lead on a Kai Forbath 28-yard field goal with 12:38 left in the fourth.
After Jerick McKinnon picked up a first down with a 10-yard run, Cordarrelle Patterson extended the drive three plays later with a 10-yard catch on third-and-7.
Then a 22-yard run by Patterson on a double reverse and 15-yard run by Matt Asiata up the middle gave the Vikings a first-and-goal at the Lions’ 10.
A chop block on first down pushed the Vikings back to the 25, but they were able to pick up 15 yards to put Forbath well within range for his field goal attempt.
Meanwhile, the Lions continued their unimpressive start to the second half with a second consecutive three-and-out. After a 2-yard run by Theo Riddick, Stafford followed with back-to-back incompletions to quickly give the ball back to the Vikings.
Big play leads to Vikings' FG, tie game
The Vikings were able to break off a big play against the Lions’ defense and it led to a Kai Forbath 30-yard field goal to even it at 10 with 7:03 left in the third.
Sam Bradford started the drive with an open Jerick McKinnon, who raced down the right sideline for 41 yards to the Lions’ 20-yard line.
After minimal gains on first and second down, rookie Miles Killebrew came up with an open-field tackle on running back Matt Asiata on third-and-5 to hold the Vikings to a field goal.
Lions, Vikings trade punts to open second half
The Lions’ defense took advantage of a Vikings’ penalty to force a quick punt to open the second half.
After a 10-yard catch by receiver Adam Thielen, an offensive holding on tight end Kyle Rudolph pushed the Vikings back into a first-and-20 at their 25.
The Lions’ defense got the job done from there as rookie Miles Killebrew tackled Jerick McKinnon well short of the first down marker on third down to force a punt.
However, the Lions didn’t do much more with their possession.
After Dwayne Washington rushed for two yards on first down, Matthew Stafford was sacked for an 8-yard loss by linebacker Anthony Barr.
That put the Lions in a third-and-16 situation that it couldn’t convert as Detroit punted the ball back to the Vikings.
Minnesota takes over at its 39-yard line with 9:45 left in the third.
Lions lead Vikings, 10-7, at halftime
The Lions were looking to add to their lead and gain some momentum heading into halftime.
But with no timeouts, their two-minute offense came up short as Matthew Stafford’s desperation heave as time expired fell incomplete. Detroit holds a 10-7 lead at the break.
Stafford completed three consecutive passes to Theo Riddick, Marvin Jones and Andre Roberts for six, 17 and 14 yards, respectively, to give the Lions a first down at the Minnesota 49 with 15 seconds left.
Stafford misfired on his next two passes to set up a fourth-and-10 with five seconds left, but his Hail Mary pass was short of the end zone.
The Vikings were held to a three-and-out on their ensuing possession. Linebacker Tahir Whitehead tackled receiver Cordarrelle Patterson for a 4-yard loss on first down and Minnesota was only able to muster five yards on the next two plays.
Minnesota will receive the ball to start the second half.
Lions come up short on fourth down near midfield
Seemingly anything the Lions do, the Vikings counter in a similar fashion.
After the Lions’ defense came up with a huge stop on fourth down, the offense faced a fourth-and-1 at the Minnesota 49.
Running back Zach Zenner was stuffed for no gain and Lions coach Jim Caldwell challenged the spot but to no avail. The Lions turned the ball over on downs near midfield with 2:00 left in the second.
Lions' 'D' comes up with stop on fourth down
The Lions’ defense stiffened when it needed to the most, coming up with a deflection on a fourth-and-2 at the Detroit 42-yard line to force a turnover on downs with 3:40 left in the second.
The Vikings picked up chunks of yardage early in the drive on a 7-yard run by Jerick McKinnon and 21-yard catch by tight end Rhett Ellison
After a minimal gain on first down, Sam Bradford threw an intended pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph that drew a defensive pass interference penalty on linebacker Tahir Whitehead.
The Lions challenged the call and it was reversed because the ball was tipped at the line, negating the pass interference on the play.
Whitehead then tackled receiver Adam Thielen two yards shy of the first down, setting up the fourth down that led to defensive tackle Haloti Ngata tipping Bradford's pass at the line of scrimmage.
Lions regain lead on Prater FG
The Lions’ quick-strike offense wasted little time regaining a lead over the Vikings, going 59 yards on six plays to set up a 29-yard field goal by Matt Prater for a 10-7 edge with 6:45 left in the second.
Matthew Stafford hit an open Golden Tate for a 41-yard gain on the first play and Theo Riddick followed with a 12-yard run to set the Lions up in the red zone at the Minnesota 17.
But on a third-and-3 at the 10, Stafford’s pass to Marvin Jones in the end zone was broken up by cornerback Trae Waynes as the Lions settled for a field goal.
Lions' 'D' forces three-and-out
The Lions’ defense bounced back after a rough start, holding the Vikings to a quick three-and-out on their second possession.
After Sam Bradford threw a 6-yard pass to receiver Adam Thielen, running back Jerick McKinnion was stuffed for a 4-yard loss by linebacker Josh Bynes and running back Matt Asiata was dragged down by linebacker Tahir Whitehead two yards short of the first down.
The Lions get the ball back at their 30-yard line with 9:50 left in the second and the score still tied at 7.
Lions' second drive fizzles near midfield
After a nearly perfect opening drive to start the game, the Lions couldn’t duplicate the feat with their second possession sputtering just across midfield.
Matthew Stafford hit Andre Roberts and Golden Tate for completions of five and 18 yards, respectively, to give the Lions a first down at their 45-yard line.
Then after back-to-back incompletions, Stafford broke off an 11-yard run on a third-and-10 to pick up a first down at the Minnesota 44.
The offense fizzled out from there, gaining two more yards on a Dwayne Washington run before Stafford overthrew Marvin Jones down the field on a third-and-8.
The Vikings will take over at their 12-yard line following a 30-yard punt by Sam Martin with 11:54 left in the second.
Vikings counter with TD on opening drive
Twice the Lions’ defense appeared to come away with a takeaway.
But neither counted as the Vikings took advantage and countered with a 5-yard touchdown run by Matt Asiata to even it at 7 with 40 seconds left in the first quarter.
Minnesota picked up at least five yards on its first four plays to quickly move into Detroit territory, with an 18-yard reception by tight end Kyle Rudolph giving the Vikings a first down at the 34-yard line.
Then after forcing an incompletion on a third-and-3 at the 27, a defensive holding penalty on cornerback Nevin Lawson extended the drive.
Two plays later, defensive end Ziggy Ansah appeared to strip sack quarterback Sam Bradford with defensive tackle Haloti Ngata recovering the loose ball. After review, the play was ruled an incomplete pass and the Vikings maintained possession.
On the next play, safety Glover Quin picked off Bradford only to have the takeaway wiped out due to a defensive pass interference call on cornerback Darius Slay.
Three plays later, Asiata powered his way into the end zone to tie it up.
Lions strike first for 7-0 lead
This is the type of start the Lions likely envisioned last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
After winning the coin toss and electing to receive, the Lions set the tone with a crisp 12-play, 75-yard drive that ended with an Anquan Boldin 2-yard touchdown catch for a 7-0 lead over the Vikings with 7:14 left in the first quarter.
After an abysmal start last week against the Jaguars, the Lions won the toss and elected to receive. Matthew Stafford was perfect on the opening drive, completing all six passes for 46 yards and Theo Riddick added four carries for 18 yards.
Stafford hit Boldin for a 5-yard gain to extend the drive after facing an early third-and-3 situation. Riddick kept the chains moving with a 12-yard run to put the Lions in Vikings’ territory.
Stafford hit Marvin Jones on back-to-back completions of 20 and seven yards, respectively, to move into red zone at the Vikings’ 17-yard line.
Then facing a third-and-3 at the 10, Stafford thread the needle to a diving Boldin for an 8-yard gain before hitting Boldin on the next play for the score.
LIONS VS. VIKINGS
What: Detroit Lions (6-4) vs. Minnesota Vikings (6-4)
When: Thursday, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Ford Field, Detroit
Local TV: CBS
Local radio: WJR
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