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Lions vs Vikings: What Just Happened?

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A collection of thoughts about the Lions’ Week 4 win.

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The scoreboard won’t tell you, and the analysts won’t either, but I will. I will tell all of the world from the top of the Murderhorn that this was a big win for the Lions on Sunday. It wasn’t an offensive showcase, but the Lions did just enough to win 14-7 on the road against the Vikings.

As always, I have thoughts on the game. These are those thoughts.

The Lions keep doing that thing where they get turnovers.

Seriously. Is the NFL coming together to to commit a prank on the Lions defense? They forced 14 turnovers all year in 2016. They’ve forced 11 in the first four games of the 2017 season. One of which was the game-clinching fumble coughed up by Adam Thielen that Glover Quin forced to ice the game for the Lions.

This is an unsustainable thing. The Lions can’t keep this up every week. But for now, it’s a lot of fun. So who cares if it’s unsustainable?

Defense is doing other things too

It’s not all about turnovers. The Vikings were the NFL’s second ranked offense coming into this game. The Lions shut them down and held them to seven points—all of which came in the second quarter. I will submit that I think Cook going down certainly gave the Lions a leg up, but the defense looked dominant otherwise.

It’s something the Lions defense needed to do a week after the Falcons shredded them up pretty good.

Zettel is a star in the making

When Kerry Hyder went down in the preseason, the Lions’ pass rush was believed to be going with it. But never fear, Anthony Zettel is here. He’s not an All-Pro or anything like that, but what Zettel has been able to do this season has to excite Lions fans for his future.

He’s got to the quarterback three times so far this season for sacks, but it was his two quarterback takedowns on Sunday, mainly the one above, that had Zettel looking like a future stud. Clutch play like that is what the Lions defense needs if they want to keep beating good teams.

The 100-yard rusher wait continues

You ever go to the store with your parents when you were a kid? Of course you have. That’s a dumb question. Remember when you wanted a toy and after lobbying for 15 minutes in the toy aisle you talked your mom into it? It’s in the cart and all is good.

Then, your mom remembers you were climbing on the shed in the backyard again and you now have a scar somewhere on your body. Then she puts the toy back because you’re punished. That’s what happened to Lions fans when they thought they would get their 100-yard rusher on Sunday.

Ameer Abdullah appeared to have hurt his ankle in the fourth quarter and the Lions took him out of the game. Then this came out:

I’m sure they kept Abdullah out for the sake of precaution, but you guys are killing us with stuff like that. By the way, what a totally relatable story I told about a friend there. I was never on the shed, mom. That is my story in 1996. That’s my story now.

Caldwell has poor time management and that old argument

Poor time management is every football fans go to argument when talking out their team’s coach. But in the Lions case, that’s what happened in the fourth quarter.

The Lions had the Vikings dead to right with a first down with just over two minutes left. They instead ran three vanilla run plays and the Vikings smartly used all there timeouts before the two minute warning. Then they got the ball back with 2:00 left.

The coaching staff for the Lions needs to be better about stuff like that. If you have a quarterback as good as your quarterback and your third running back in is on the field, it’s time to pass the ball.

But

There’s an issue here with the Lions offense. While they have played two great defenses the last two weeks, they still have to be able to get something going on offense. Especially after forcing a turnover. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If the Lions’ offense could capitalize on turnovers, they’d be the highest scoring team in the league.

We’ll see what they can do against a Panthers team that has allowed 30-plus points in their last two games.

Hi, Dean

If you missed it, I feel sorry for you. Former Detroit Lions’ linebacker Chris Spielman was on the call for Fox on Sunday. During the review of Ameer Abdullah’s touchdown, Dean Blandino, a name all Lions fans know, came on to talk about it.

As Blandino was saying the call should be reversed to a touchdown, Spelman said “And you’re never wrong.” At that very moment, the video of Golden Tate’s no touchdown from last week showed on the split screen. Here’s Blandino’s face:

Dean looks like he just found out that his wife and side girl were pregnant on the same day he pee’d himself at work.

This means nothing in the end. Blandino has no control over anything. But just watching him get trolled half to death makes me a very happy man. This one’s for you, Dean: