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Recap: Lions fall victim to Vikings in season finale, 37-35

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News

The Detroit Lions meet the Minnesota Vikings in the season finale on Sunday. Both teams have been eliminated from the playoffs, but the outcome will affect NFL Draft position. You can follow the action here with live updates throughout the game by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.

Detroit Lions' Jamal Agnew returns a kick off during the first half.

Game summary

The Detroit Lions fell victim to a number of bad calls in their season finale at Ford Field on Sunday, as the Minnesota Vikings took advantage of a bad Lions penalty on fourth-and-goal and an overturned touchdown by Marvin Jones Jr. to escape with a 37-35 victory.

Vikings finish off Lions in season finale

Minnesota takes over at its own 25, leading by 2 with 4:26 to go.

Kirk Cousins finds C.J. Ham for a 30-yard gain on first down.

A holding penalty makes it first-and-20 at the 35. Kirk Cousins throws to Justin Jefferson for 13 yards, then 8 yards, to move the chains. 

It's first-and-10 at the Detroit 34. Alexander Mattison rushes for 5 yards, and is then wrapped up for a loss of 1 to bring up third-and-6. Irv Smith is stopped a yard short of the sticks, but Mattison picks up the first down on fourth-and-1.

**Two-minute warning**

The Vikings will get in victory formation to close this thing out.

FINAL: Vikings 37, Lions 35 

Lions cut deficit to 2 after marching down field

Detroit takes over at the 25, trailing 37-29 with 10:32 to go. A holding penalty makes it first-and-20 at the 15.

Matthew Stafford hits Marvin Jones for a pickup of 21, then gets it to D'Andre Swift for a gain of 13 to the Detroit 39.

Swift takes the carry on the next play for 7. Stafford hits T.J. Hockenson for a 2-yard gain. Adrian Peterson moves the chains on fourth-and-1 after a third-down incompletion. 

Stafford drops a gorgeous throw into the hands of a diving Marvin Jones, and they appear to have their third touchdown connection of the day before the play is overturned by video review.

It's second-and-10.

D'Andre Swift is tackled for a loss of 1. Jones hauls in a 16-yard throw on third down to keep the drive alive and bring up first-and-10 at the 23.

Stafford then goes to Mohamed Sanu for a 6-yard completion before scrambling for a gain of 5 to the Minnesota 12.

Stafford's first-down throw is knocked incomplete. Jones fights to the 1 after getting open on a quick slant route, and the Lions have it first-and-goal.

Swift sneaks it into the end zone to draw the Lions within 2. They can tie the game with the ensuing two-point attempt: The attempt fails. Still a 2-point game.

Vikings 37, Lions 35 (4:26 4th)

Lions get screwed on fourth-down penalty, trail 37-29

Minnesota takes over at the 25, leading 31-29 with 3:02 to go in the third quarter.

Alexander Mattison rushes for 1, then catches a pass for 7, and moves the chains with a carry for 4.

Amani Oruwariye takes a pass interference flag on the next play, and it's first-and-10 at the 45 of Detroit.

Kirk Cousins throws directly into the hands of Lions defensive lineman Austin Bryant, who drops the easiest interception of his life. Justin Jefferson moves the chains with a 14-yard completion on the next play. 

Mattison rushes for 7 yards on first down and 4 yards on second down, bringing the third quarter to a close.

END 3RD: Vikings 31, Lions 29 

It's first-and-20 at the 30 after a holding penalty. Mike Boone moves the chains with rushes of 19 and 5 yards, bringing up first-and-goal at the 6.

Boone gets to the 2 with a 4-yard rush, and is then stuffed at the 2. He's stuffed again on third down, and the Vikings have an interesting decision to make on fourth-and-goal at the 1.

Tracy Walker picks up the sack, but is flagged for tackling the quarterback, evidently. The roughing-the-passer penalty makes it first-and-goal at the half-yard line.

Cousins scores a number of plays later and Dan Bailey misses the extra point.

Vikings 37, Lions 29 (10:32 4th)

Lions answer with touchdown, fail to convert two-point attempt

Detroit takes over at its own 25, trailing 31-23 with 7:54 to go in the third quarter. 

Adrian Peterson rushes for 5 yards on first down. Matthew Stafford takes a shot down the sideline to Quintez Cephus, but the pass is too far. Danny Amendola hauls in a 6-yard throw to move the chains.

Stafford takes another shot, this time to Mohamed Sanu, but again it's just a touch too far. Peterson rushes for 4 on second down. Stafford goes back to Cephus, and connects for a 31-yard completion to the Vikings 29.

D'Andre Swift rushes for 6 yards on first down, then catches an 18-yard pass on second down to bring up first-and-goal from the 5.

Swift carries it to the 2 as Peterson finishes the drive with a touchdown.

Stafford's pass on the two-point conversion attempt is defended well, and forced incomplete. Detroit still trails by 2.

Vikings 31, Lions 29 (3:02 3rd)

Vikings capitalize off turnover, extend lead to 31-23

Minnesota takes over at the 23, leading by 5 in the third quarter.

Kirk Cousins misses his receiver on first down but hits Justin Jefferson on second down for a pickup of 15 to the 8, where it'll be first-and-goal.

Cousins misses to Jefferson, runs for 4, then throws away the ball on third down.

Dan Bailey hits the field goal.

Vikings 31, Lions 23 (7:55 3rd)

Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones is chased by Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Eric Wilson (50) and cornerback Jeff Gladney (20) in the first half.

Stafford throws pick in own territory

Detroit takes over at the 20, trailing 28-23 with 11:29 to go in the third.

D'Andre Swift goes up the middle for 6 yards, a gain that's erased by a false start before the next play. A 1-yard loss sets up third-and-10, where Stafford is picked by Harrison Smith and returned to the 23.

Vikings 28, Lions 23 (9:41 3rd)

Vikings air it out, regain 28-23 lead in third

Minnesota takes over at the 31, trailing 23-21 with 14:09 left in the third quarter.

Kirk Cousins hits Justin Jefferson for 15 yards to start the drive. 

Alexander Mattison rushes for 2 before Cousins finds Jefferson for a 37-yard pass to the Detroit 15, which is supplemented by a roughing-the-passer penalty.

It's first-and-goal at the 7.

Cousins throws it away on first down. Mattison is stopped at the 2 on second down, but gets into the end zone on third down. 

Vikings 28, Lions 23 (11:35 3rd)

Lions take quick lead to start second half

Jamal Agnew returns the second-half kickoff for 70 yards to the Minnesota 33. Great start to the half by the Lions, who trail 21-16.

Matthew Stafford hits Mohamed Sanu for a 7-yard gain, then gets it to a wide-open Marvin Jones for a 26-yard touchdown score.

Detroit is back on top.

Lions 23, Vikings 21 (14:09 2nd)

Vikings take 21-16 lead on final play of first half

Minnesota takes over at the 21 with 0:55 to go in the half.

Kirk Cousins throws complete to Justin Jefferson for a gain of 8.

Injury alert: Lions DL Nick Williams was injured on the play.

Cousins hits Chad Beebe for a gain of 4 to move the chains.

Jahlani Tavai sniffs out a screen pass to Ameer Abdullah and cracks the former Lions running back for a loss of 3 on first down.

Timeout #2 Minnesota (0:35 2nd)

Cousins hits Thielen for a gain of 14 to the Minnesota 44.

Timeout #3 Minnesota (0:28 2nd)

Tyler Conklin hauls in a 10-yard throw and steps out of bounds at the Detroit 46.

The Lions jump offsides before the next play, and it'll be first-and-5 with 0:11 left.

Timeout #1 Detroit (0:11 2nd)

Beebe bounces off two Lions defenders after hauling in a 20-yard throw and then gets into the end zone with ease.

Vikings 21, Lions 16 (0:04 2nd)

The kickoff runs out the rest of the clock.

END 2ND: Vikings 21, Lions 16 

Stafford sacked on third down as Lions try to extend lead before halftime

Detroit takes over at the same 36 after Dan Bailey's missed field goal. The Lions lead, 16-14, with 2:53 to go in the half.

Adrian Peterson rushes for 6 yards on first down and Matthew Stafford hits Jesse James for 2 yards on second down.

**Two-minute warning**

Stafford scrambles for 4 yards to pick up the first down.

Stafford's first-down pass to Kerryon Johnson is knocked incomplete. He takes a deep shot to Mohamed Sanu over the middle on second down, but that's defended well, too. Stafford is sacked on third down.

Timeout #1 Minnesota (1:04 2nd)

Jack Fox will punt it away.

Lions 16, Vikings 14 (0:55 2nd)

Minnesota Vikings running back Ameer Abdullah is tackled by Detroit Lions strong safety Duron Harmon in the first half.

Vikings miss field goal, Lions hold 16-14 lead

Minnesota takes over at the 31, trailing 16-14 with an amazing 7:05 to go in the second quarter.

Kirk Cousins hits Adam Thielen for gains of 20 and 9 yards, bringing up second-and-1 at the Detroit 40 to start the drive. Alexander Mattison moves the chains with a 5-yard run, then rushes for 20 more to make it first-and-10 at the 15.

Cousins' first-down throw to C.J. Ham is dropped, and it's third-and-10 after Mattison gets stopped for no gain on second down. A false-start penalty makes it third-and-15. Kevin Strong drills Cousins on third down for a sack and loss of 8.

Dan Bailey's 46-yard field-goal attempt misses the mark.

Lions 16, Vikings 14 (2:53 2nd)

Lions take 16-14 lead on deep Prater field goal

Detroit takes over at the 25, trailing 14-13 with 8:51 to go in the second quarter.

Matthew Stafford finds Marvin Jones for big yardage on first down, as the veteran receiver runs for a gain of 38 after catching the pass. It's first-and-10 at the Minnesota 37.

Stafford's first-down throw to Mohamed Sanu is too deep, incomplete. D'Andre Swift is stopped for a gain of 1 on second down. Stafford's pass on third down is tipped, and the Lions drive will die there.

Matt Prater's 54-yard field goal attempt is good, and probably would have been good from at least 60. Impressive bounce-back after missing the PAT earlier.

Lions 16, Vikings 14 (7:13 2nd)

Vikings get back on top with Abdullah's touchdown reception

Minnesota takes over at the 21, trailing 13-7 with 13:13 to go in the second quarter.

Kirk Cousins promptly finds Irv Smith on first down for a 25-yard completion to the Minnesota 46, then dumps it off to Tyler Conklin for an 11-yard gain, into Detroit territory at the 43.

Alexander Mattison spins out of a tackle behind the line on first down, picking up 1 with the extra effort. Conklin moves the chains again with a 19-yard completion to the 23.

Adam Thielen gets in on the fun now, and the Vikings have it first-and-goal at the 9 with a 14-yard reception.

Mattison rushes for 4 on first down. Darryl Roberts breaks up a throw to Thielen in the end zone on second down. Ameer Abdullah catches a pass over the middle and scampers into the end zone for a Vikings touchdown.

Vikings 14, Lions 13 (8:51 2nd)

Lions take 13-7 lead in second quarter

Detroit takes over at its own 25, trailing 7-6 with 0:34 to go in the first quarter.

Matthew Stafford hits Marvin Jones for a 3-yard pickup on first down, bringing the first quarter to a close.

END 1ST: Vikings 7, Lions 6

Adrian Peterson finally gets his first carry of the game, and he makes it a memorable one, hitting the hole and getting all the way to Minnesota's 34 for a pickup of 38.

A penalty on the next play makes it first-and-15, which the Lions pickup with a 15-yard throw to T.J. Hockenson.

Peterson gets 4 to set up a 20-yard throw to Quintez Cephus for a Lions touchdown.

Lions 13, Vikings 7 (13:19 2nd)

Vikings score 28-yard touchdown on fourth down

Minnesota takes over at the 30, trailing 6-0 with 4:45 to go in the first quarter.

Alexander Mattison rushes for 6 on first down, bringing up third-and-4 after a second-down incompletion. Kirk Cousins finds Justin Jefferson on third down for a pickup of 13, then hits Mattison for a gain of 15 to the Detroit 36.

Mattison rushes for 4 on the next play. Tracy Walker forces third-and-13 with a sack of Cousins on second down. Cousins hits Jefferson, who's ensuing fumble is recovered by the Vikings at the 27 to bring up fourth-and-4.

Mattison catches a pass in the flat on third down, evades the blazing speed of Jahlani Tavai, and makes Walker miss on his way to a 28-yard touchdown on fourth down.

Vikings 7, Lions 6 (0:34 1st)

Stafford and Jones connect to give Lions lead vs. Vikings

Detroit takes over at the 10 with 8:21 left in the first quarter of a 0-0 game.

Matthew Stafford throws complete to T.J. Hockenson for a gain of 9 on first down, and D'Andre Swift moves the chains with a 3-yard run on the next play.

Marvin Jones gets open down the field and hauls in a 23-yard throw from Stafford to the Detroit 45. 

Swift carries for 4 yards on first down and 5 on second down to bring up third-and-1. Mohamed Sanu gets the carry (?) on third down and moves the chains with a 3-yard run.

Stafford winds up and hits Jones on a deep throw near the end-zone pylon, and the Lions have a lead.

Matt Prater misses the extra point.

Lions 6, Vikings 0 (4:45 1st)

Vikings get second chance after Agnew fumbles, immediately punt again

Minnesota takes over at its own 25, still in a 0-0 game with 11:37 to go in the first quarter.

Alexander Mattison runs for 3 yards total on first and second down, meaning the 6-yard throw to Ameer Abdullah on third down won't be enough to move the chains.

Jamal Agnew fumbles on the punt return after picking up some pretty decent yardage, and Minnesota recovers at the Detroit 42.

Kirk Cousins' first-down pass is awful, incomplete. Romeo Okwara sacks Cousins for a loss of 7 on second down. The third-down pass is dropped, and Minnesota will punt again, this time pinning Detroit at the 10.

Lions 0, Vikings 0 (8:21 1st)

Lions go three-and-out on opening drive

The Lions take over at their own 27 in a 0-0 game with just under two minutes gone in the opening quarter.

D'Andre Swift rushes for 4 on first down, but loses a yard on the second-down reception to bring up third-and-7. Matthew Stafford's throw on third down should have been easily intercepted, but was inexplicably not. The Lions will punt.

Lions 0, Vikings 0 (11:37 1st)

Lions get stop on defense to start season finale vs. Vikings

Minnesota takes over at the 25 to start the game. 

Kirk Cousins throws complete to C.J. Ham for a gain of 14 on the first play from scrimmage.

A holding penalty on the next play sets up first-and-20, which Alexander Mattison turns into second-and-15 with a 5-yard run. Cousins' next two throws are batted at the line, both falling incomplete.

Lions 0, Vikings 0 (13:09 1st)

Lions running back Kerryon Johnson during warmups before Detroit takes on the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field.

Vikings at Lions 

Kickoff: 1 p.m., Sunday, Ford Field, Detroit

TV/radio: Fox/760 AM

Records: Vikings 6-9; Lions 5-10

Line: Vikings by 6.5

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