We’ll be providing live updates and highlights as the Detroit Lions take on the Minnesota Vikings in a big Week 7 matchup. Both teams are seeking their first divisional win, and a loss would put each team in a big hole.
The Detroit Lions offense took the field first, and quickly drew into Vikings territory with a 22-yard pass to J.D. McKissic. Detroit quickly stalled from there, and just as Matt Prater was lining up for a 56-yard field goal, long snapper Don Muhlbach false started, pushing the attempt too far back. The Lions punted the ball away.
Detroit, though, would quickly get the ball back. After a quick first down, the Vikings couldn’t manage to convert a third-and-9, as Tracy Walker knocked Irv Smith Jr. out of bounds a yard short of the sticks.
The Lions got on the scoreboard first. After a 31-yard pass interference penalty on Xavier Rhodes, the Lions found themselves in business. Danny Amendola picked up a huge third-and-9 play, and Marvin Jones Jr. followed it up with this fantastic spin move after the catch.
The Vikings would quickly respond, though. Kirk Cousins first found Smith Jr. for a 28-yard gain. A couple plays later, Cousins laid a perfectly thrown ball to Adam Thielen for a 25-yard score on a play-action pass that had nearly everyone fooled. 7-7 tie.
Suddenly, there was a shootout at Ford Field. Stafford answered with a 36-yard pass to Danny Amendola to get into Vikings territory. A few plays later, Stafford found Jones for his second touchdown of the game, this time with his son, Xavier Rhodes in coverage.
Son of a... Detroit up 14-7 on Jones’ second TD of the day. Coverage by Xavier Rhodes pic.twitter.com/t9G3hEY5LY— Sean Borman (@SeanBormanNFL) October 20, 2019
That lead, too, wouldn’t last long for Detroit. On a key third-and-10, Cousins dropped a dime to Stefon Diggs with Darius Slay in tight coverage for 27 yards. Then some more officiating wackiness ensued. It looked like Tracy Walker picked off Cousins in the end zone, but refs called Justin Coleman for pass interference on the play. The officials reviewed the play, to see if receiver Olabisi Johnson was out of bounds, making him an ineligible receiver and able to be contacted. After review, the play stood and Cousins found Johnson for the 1-yard score. 14-14 tie.
An early holding penalty on Jesse James set the Lions offense back in the downs, and they could not recover. A quick three-and-out gave Minnesota the opportunity to take their first lead of the game.
With the Vikings backed up at their own 3-yard line, Detroit had an opportunity to win the field position battle, but they couldn’t get off the field on a third-and-2. From there, the Vikings just thrashed the Lions defense, who were without Darius Slay due to a hamstring injury and lost Damon Harrison Sr. in the middle of the drive. 97 yards later, and Dalvin Cook was celebrating Minnesota’s first lead in the end zone. 21-14 Vikings.
With just 3:26 remaining in the half, the Lions tried to tie it up before the teams headed to the locker room. A deep play to Kenny Golladay, a roughing the passer penalty and a few other plays thrown in got the Lions into the red zone. With just six seconds left, the Lions had a choice: go for the touchdown and risk time expiring, or kick an easy field goal. They chose go for it, and Stafford found Jones for his third touchdown of the game. 21-21 tie.
The Detroit Lions defense picked up where it left off in the first half, which is to say... not well. Again, the Lions had a chance to get off the field on a third-and-long (11, in this case), but Diggs broke open with Rashaan Melvin in coverage and extended the drive. To cap off the drive, the Vikings used more play action, and caught Tracy Walker cheating. C.J. Ham pulled in the easy 5-yard touchdown catch to give the Vikings the lead again. 28-21 Vikings.
This time, Detroit’s offense couldn’t rebut. A three-and-out give Minnesota the chance to extend their lead. But the Lions defense got themselves a three-and-out of their own.
The Lions offense got back in business thanks to the Marvin Hall deep ball of the game. Stafford connected with Hall for a 47-yard bomb. Unfortunately for Detroit, the drive stalled from there and they settled for three points. 28-24 Vikings
Minnesota’s offense got right back to it, driving to midfield before the end of the third quarter.
The Lions were able to finally get a stop after a potential touchdown pass slipped through Stefon Diggs’ fingers on third-and-short. And luckily for Detroit, Dan Bailey missed a 45-yard field goal, keeping the deficit at just four points.
The Lions would drive to midfield and found themselves in a huge fourth-and-2 situation. Stafford tried to roll out of a play-action fake, but the Vikings defense was all over the play and the pass fell incomplete, giving the Vikings the ball back at their own 41-yard line with jut 8:52 remaining in the game.
Eric Kendricks with the pass breakup, capping another phenomenal day for him pic.twitter.com/XqkOpz6Gls— Arif Hasan, but spooky (@ArifHasanNFL) October 20, 2019
That field position is all the Vikings needed. Thanks to 32 rushing yards from Dalvin Cook on the drive, the Vikings worked their way easily in the red zone. Cousins capped off the drive with his fourth touchdown of the game, this time to a wide-open Kyle Rudolph. 35-24 Vikings.
The Lions, now in desperation mode, quickly worked their way down field. Marvin Jones Jr. capped the drive with his fourth touchdown of the day. Kenny Golladay dropped the two point conversion, so Detroit was down five. 35-30 Vikings.
The Vikings needed to run out the final three minutes of the game to ensure victory. After a short first down run, Minnesota caught the Lions off guard and went deep to Stefon Diggs on second down. 67 yards later, and the game was essentially over. Dalvin Cook would run it in from 5 yards to rub some salt on the wounds. 42-30 VIkings.
The Lions drop to 2-3-1 and are now starting to fall way behind in the NFC North race. The Packers are 6-1, the Vikings are 5-2, and Detroit has no wins in the division. They have very little margin for error the rest of the way, and will have to figure things out defensively this week.
The Detroit Lions just recently released more tickets for this week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. Buy tickets to Lions vs. Vikings from StubHub HERE.
The Detroit Lions are riding a two-game losing streak, and to save their once-promising start to the season, they’re going to have to put an end to that streak very soon. While matchups against the Raiders and Giants in the near future provide long-term promise, they need to notch a couple of big wins to prove they’re capable of truly contending in a deep and talented NFC.
One of those talented teams is coming to Detroit this week. The Minnesota Vikings have won two straight and appear to have righted the ship. Kirk Cousins no longer has a target on his back, the defense remains as strong as ever, and Dalvin Cook may be the best running back in the league. This Vikings team is incredibly well-rounded and will provide a great litmus test for a Lions team that is recovering from Monday night’s officiating debacle.
A win by Detroit would immediately put them back into the “contender” conversation, while a loss would push them back into the irrelevant middle of the league. Yeah, the stakes are that high.
Here’s how to watch the Lions’ Week 7 matchup.
How to watch Lions-Vikings
Date: Sunday, October 20, 2019
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Ford Field — Detroit, MI
Week 7 TV Map: Courtesy of 506 Sports here
Announcers: Brandon Gaudin, Chris Spielman, Shannon Spake
Online streaming: Yahoo Sports app
Local radio: WJR-AM NEWS TALK 760
Radio announcers: Dan Miller, Lomas Brown
Odds: Vikings by 1