For the second straight week, the Detroit Lions looked like they had no business being on the samef ootball field with their opponent. The Minnesota Vikings dominated Detroit in just about every single facet of the game. The defense couldn’t get a stop early in the game, while the offense turned into a turnover machine in the second half.
In the end, the Lions not only lost 34-20, but they suffered a ton of injuries. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was chief among them, leaving the game in the fourth quarter after suffering a hit to the head. His status is unknown at this time.
But one thing is clear: This Detroit Lions football team is now 3-5 and have next to no hope in turning thing around. The seat under Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn is now the hottest it has ever been.
Here’s how the game played out on Sunday.
The Detroit Lions tried to come out firing, with Matthew Stafford going deep to Marvin Hall. Unfortunately, the ball was underthrown and it was batted away. Detroit quickly then went three-and-out, and a poor punt from Jack Fox gave the Vikings good field position.
It didn’t take long for Minnesota to take advantage. Dalvin Cook ran or a total of 22 carries on three carries while Justin Jefferson and Kyle Rudolph both added 22-yard catches each. Put it all together and less than five minutes in, the Vikings were up 7-0.
The Lions offense started to get things going with the run game on the next drive. Adrian Peterson and D’Andre Swift combined for 39 rushing yards as they drove into Lions territory. But just as Detroit edged into the red zone, they stalled. Matt Prater continued his season struggles, pushing a 46-yard field goal wide left.
The Vikings offense continued to push the ball downfield with little resistance from Detroit. Adam Thielen picked up a big chunk play for 30 yards, and a few games later, Kirk Cousins found Irv Smith Jr. for 9-yard touchdown.
Minnesota did miss the extra point. 13-0 Vikings.
Detroit wasn’t dead, however. The run game continued to keep the offense moving. Combined with a couple of short passes from Matthew Stafford, the Lions got themselves all the way down to the Vikings 1-yard line. Facing third-and-goal, however, Detroit opted to run a stretch run with Peterson, and it was absolutely blown up by the Vikings for a 4-yard loss. Detroit had to settle for another field goal attempt. This time, Prater was good from 23. 13-3 Vikings.
Detroit’s defense finally got a stop on the next drive. After allowing a third-and-10 conversion, Detroit got a tipped pass on the ensuing third down, giving the ball back to the Lions offense.
Thanks to a nice 20-yard pickup from rookie receiver Quintez Cephus, Detroit got deep into Vikings territory at the two-minute warning. After a huge third-down pickup from T.J. Hockenson on a tipped pass, Stafford found Marvin Jones Jr. for a 15-yard touchdown, pushing it back to a one-score game. 13-10 Vikings.
At that point, Matthew Stafford had completed 16 straight passes, going 16-for-17 for 123 yards and a touchdown.
With 1:19 left, the Vikings had no plans of packing it in for the half. Dalvin Cook beat Jamie Collins Sr. on a route that ended up going for 29 yards. He followed that up with a 13-yard run, and then former Lion Ameer Abdullah took a screen pass for 22 yards and a score, and just like that, it was a two-score game again. 20-10 Vikings.
Here was the story of the Lions defense in the first half:
Lions defense:— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) November 8, 2020
- Allowed Kirk Cousins to have a perfect passer rating in the first half (9-11, 169 yards, 2 TDs, 158.3 rating)
- Allowed 74 rushing yards at 6.7 YPC.
- Allowed 11.0 yards per play
Other than that, pretty good.
Though Dalvin Cook picked up 14 on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, the Lions defense stiffened up from there thanks, in part, to a nice pass breakup from Desmond Trufant. Minnesota quickly punted back to Detroit, pinning them back at their own 12-yard line. But Detroit responded with a three-and-out after Danny Amendola dropped an easy conversion on second down.
The Vikings added to their lead from there. Minnesota converted on three straight third downs. A third-and-5 resulted in a 35-yard bomb to Justin Jefferson. A third-and-6 drew a pass interference call on Amani Oruwariye. And a third-and-goal pass gave Irv Smith Jr. his second touchdown of the game. 27-10 Vikings.
Detroit was driving to cut this down to a two-score game, but Matthew Stafford made another critical second-half mistake. In the red zone, Stafford targeted Hockenson over the middle, but didn’t even see linebacker Eric Wilson, who dropped into zone. Stafford threw it right at him, taking at least three points off the board.
But the Lions special teams picked up a huge play to give the Lions another chance with a second blocked punt in as many weeks:
But just a few plays later, Stafford squandered the opportunity with a devastating interception on third-and-goal.
Detroit’s defense was able to get a stop and give the ball back to the offense. And while the Lions got deep into Vikings territory, Stafford took a shot and was forced out of the game to get a concussion check. Chase Daniel couldn’t advance the ball and Detroit settled for yet another field goal. 27-13 Vikings.
Dalvin Cook took the first play of the next drive for 70 yards and buried any chance of a Lions comeback.