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Lions-Vikings recap: Offense struggles as Detroit drops 6th straight

After finally getting an acceptable defensive effort, it was the offense that faltered against the Vikings.

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

The Detroit Lions didn’t put up much of a fight against the Minnesota Vikings. Though the defense gave Detroit a chance at an upset, David Blough’s second career start at quarterback was not nearly as successful as his first. The Lions didn’t score until the game was already in hand, as Detroit dropped it’s sixth-straight game, 20-7.

Here’s how it happened.

First quarter

The Lions loss the toss, which means David Blough would be up first. Unfortunately for Blough, his first two passes were batted down at the line, and he didn’t even get a chance at a third, as Danielle Hunter picked up a third-down sack for a quick three-and-out.

Detroit would quickly get the ball back, though. Darius Slay broke up a third-down pass after Jarrad Davis forced a quick, lofting throw from Kirk Cousins. The Lions would go three-and-out again, however, as Mike Hughes—playing in place of Xavier Rhodes—broke up a third-and-short pass.

On the next possession, the injury bug hit the Lions defense... yet again. First, Darius Slay collided with teammate Will Harris and immediately clutched his abdominal area. On the next play, linebacker Jarrad Davis got hit while while a Vikings offensive lineman rolled up on his legs, bending him in an awkward position. Slay returned to play, but Davis’ injury appeared to be more serious.

Meanwhile, the Vikings offense got on the board first. Aided by a personal foul penalty on Jahlani Tavai, Minnesota got into a goal-to-go situation. On first down, Cousins found Olabisi Johnson with a step on Amani Oruwariye for the 9-yard score. 7-0 Vikings.

Detroit was able to work their way to midfield thanks to a Marvin Jones Jr. 18-yard catch and a few defensive penalties. However, Blough was sacked on third down, ending the drive before any points.

Second quarter

The Lions defense would continue to hang with the Vikings. Although Minnesota got into Lions territory, Detroit got a third-down stop and the Vikings opted to punt instead of trying a long field goal. But the Lions offense went three-and-out for the third time in four possessions.

The Vikings worked their way down field, but Detroit got a nice third-and-1 stop from Christian Jones. Minnesota was going to go for it, but a false start penalty took a conversion off the board and the Vikings settled for a chip-shot field goal. 10-0 Vikings.

Detroit’s offense would finally pick up some yardage as the half came to a close. Kenny Golladay finally got involved, including this brilliant 18-yard catch:

Detroit worked their way into the red zone, but Blough couldn’t find anyone open on a third-and-2 and took a bad 12-yard sack. Matt Prater proceeded to slice a 45-yard field goal wide, both failing to get Detroit on the board and giving Minnesota good field position with over a minute remaining in the half.

The Vikings would add to the pain. Cousins would find Stefon Diggs for a 44-yard bomb with Slay in tight coverage and Dalvin Cook would punch it in a couple plays later.

Instead of a one-score game, a quick turn of events found the Lions down 17 at the half. 17-0 Vikings.

Third quarter

It was all defense to start the second half. The Vikings started out with two three-and-outs on offense, and the Lions answered with two of their own. The Vikings broke the streak with one first down on their third possession of the half, but quickly punted anyways.

The Lions got to midfield thanks to a personal foul penalty, but David Blough attempted to throw across his body on the next play and overshot Kenny Golladay by several feet. Vikings safety Harrison Smith picked him off.

Fourth quarter

The Vikings would start the final quarter with a 50-yard field goal. 20-0 Vikings.

Again, Detroit had a somewhat promising offensive drive end due to a bad sack. Taylor Decker failed to see Everson Griffen on what appeared to be some kind of miscommunication, and Blough was sacked for the fifth time in the game.

Detroit’s defense would get another stop, with Trey Flowers picking up his sixth sack in his past five games.

With time running out, the Lions were finally able to get on the board and avoid a shutout. On a fourth-and-5 play, Blough found Golladay for the 10-yard touchdown. 20-7 Vikings.

The Lions would get the ball back after a fourth-down stop, but with only 1:40 left, there was no real chance at a comeback. Blough threw into triple coverage to seal the deal with his second interception of the day.

The Lions are now 3-9-1 on the season, and after the Falcons beat the Panthers, Detroit is now on the path for a top-five pick.


The Detroit Lions are officially out of the playoff race. At 3-8-1, there isn’t much to be excited about or proud of for this team’s 2019 performance. Head coach Matt Patricia is certainly under a fair amount of heat now that he’s guaranteed to have back-to-back losing seasons after Detroit posted back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in a few decades.

With four games remaining, it’ll be up to him, the rest of the coaching staff, and the players to give some reason for optimism going forward. A good first step would be to string together some solid defensive performances. Since Week 6, the Lions have been in defensive free-fall, allowing quarterbacks like Mitchell Trubisky and Daniel Jones to look like potential All Pros.

The team that seemingly sent the Lions spiraling was the Minnesota Vikings. Kirk Cousins tore apart this Lions secondary in Detroit, and he looks poised to do it again this week. Cousins is having a career year, and Detroit seems ill-equipped to stop him.

But the Lions have been competitive in every single game this year, so you really never know what’s going to happen. So if you’re interested in watching, here’s how to catch Lions vs. Vikings in Week 14 of the 2019 NFL season.

How to watch Lions-Vikings

Date: Sunday, December 8, 2019
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium — Minneapolis, MN
Week 14 TV Map: Courtesy of 506 Sports here
Announcers: Thom Brennaman, 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 13

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