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Lions vs. Vikings: What Just Happened?

A collection of thoughts on the Detroit Lions’ Week 14 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions had a big challenge coming into this game. Go out and beat a 10-2 division rival and stay in the playoff hunt while also playing temporary spoiler on the Minnesota Vikings NFC North championship celebration. They did just that with a 34-23 win. Everyone questioned if the Lions were for real after being favored to win this game, the answer is yes.

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

Hat and t-shirt game huh?

Boy the Vikings and their fans got a little cocky coming into this one didn’t they? Alright, we won’t rip on them too much.

The Lions continue to keep this magic going and it continues to be so much fun to watch. Dan Campbell and company get another signature win this season. Now we move onto the big question, can the Lions run the table? Can they pull off the insane thing that nobody thought was a possibility just seven weeks ago? What a season either way.

Goff

Jared Goff absolutely balled out on Sunday. He’s been balling out since this resurgence began in November. On Sunday he threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns. He completed 69.2 percent of his passes. That’s nice. He even opened things up with two deep balls for touchdowns. He is playing the best football of his time in Detroit. He might just be playing the best football of his career.

Jamo!!

I’ve been watching this game my whole life and I’ve been covering it for nearly a decade now. I have never seen a rookie’s first touchdown be as much of an event as this was. Lions fans have been clamoring for Williams all season and on the first catch of his NFL career, he made it all worth it with a 41-yard touchdown. The stadium exploded in cheers and then Williams proceeded to give the ball to his dad and then run the length of the field celebrating with fans. What a moment.

Hutch keeps it going

Aidan Hutchinson continues to grow every week. On Sunday he grabbed his seventh sack of the season right as the Vikings were driving down field. That sack eventually set up a third-and-17 for the Vikings. On that play Hutchinson got into the back field again and was able to stifle Kirk Cousins enough to throw the ball away. That held the Vikings to a field goal. Stuff like this is just huge from a rookie. You have to look forward to what Hutchinson can do when he gets a couple years under his belt.

Another one for Houston

James Houston continues to be another fun rookie on this team. In only his third career game, he grabbed his fourth sack of the season at the end of the first half. Not bad for a sixth-round pick who spent the first half of the season on the practice squad. The Lions need to bring this same energy to their next draft. More sixth-round success stories, please.

Did they kill that truck driver in the Airpod commercial?

Not Lions related, but Apple has commercial out now where two dancers share the airpod and then dance around the city and turn things into snow. At the end they jump off a bridge and land on a truck and the truck explodes into snow. The driver is nowhere to be found. Well, it turns out they didn’t kill the truck driver. He’s shown alive in the full length commercial. I don’t know why they edited that part out of the one that everyone sees on TV. Back to Lions stuff.

Deep Blue Sea 2: The Rise of Chark

Somebody better warn Samuel L. Jackson that there’s another Chark out there that could eat him. DJ Chark has been playing so much better since getting healthy. Not long ago it seemed like Chark could be on his way out of town after this season. There’s still work to be done, but he’s moved himself to the positive side of that conversation. His big 48-yard touchdown catch in the first half of the game certainly helps. Chark finished the day with six catches for 94 yards and that touchdown.

It’s not that CJ, but this CJ does cool stuff too

C.J. Moore had a huge moment in the third quarter on Sunday when the Lions decided to fake a punt and hand the ball off to Moore. The safety then ran 42 yards down field and helped the Lions set up a Jared Goff touchdown pass to Josh Reynolds.

Then this happened

Let’s start it off by saying that taunting is the dumbest penalty in sports. With that in mind, knowing that it’s illegal, Jarren Williams just can't do it. With that said, how can Reagor headbutt Williams and there’s nothing called? I won’t complain too much about it, but there has to be some balance there. That’s all I’m saying.

The Serpent of Death

Josh Reynolds has been kind of quiet this season. There have been injuries, and he’s just been behind other guys on the depth chart. On Sunday he had himself a nice game. He was able to get open many times and get some big catches. He finished the day with five catches for 51 yards and even found the end zone in the third quarter. You hope to see the Lions continue to spread the ball around more and see Reynolds be an active participant going forward.

Penei Sewell: WR 1

Ben Johnson, you are one crazy son of a bitch. In the biggest moment of the game, when the Lions needed a first down, he drew up a play to his right tackle and Penei Sewell caught it. What an moment.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.