The Lions won a game for the first time in 364 days as Jared Goff found Amon-Ra St. Brown in the endzone as time expired in Ford Field, Lions beating the Vikings, 29-27.
It was a tale of two halves, as Detroit dominated the first two quarters but lost their footing on the gas pedal in the last two quarters. Adam Thielen went down in the first quarter of the game with an ankle injury and never returned, stunting the Vikings’ offense.
With Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks both out of the game, the Lions took advantage in the second quarter with nine and 23-yard touchdown passes down the seam for T.J. Hockenson and Brock Wright, respectively.
Goff had himself a highly effective first half, going 13/17 185 yards and scoring two touchdowns. The Lions racked up 59 rushing yards in the first half off 15 attempts, averaging 3.9 yards per rushing attempt.
In the second half, the game started to get away from the Lions. The offense punted the ball twice to start the second half, followed by a 49-yard field goal and Goff getting stripped of the ball.
Meanwhile, the Vikings scored on all but one of their second-half possessions, starting with a 31-yard Greg Joseph field goal, then an eight-yard Alexander Mattison touchdown run, and a couple of red zone touchdown passes from Kirk Cousins.
Dan Campbell put all his chips on the table with a fourth and one attempt on his own 28-yard line during the Lions’ second last possession of the game. Campbell called a play action and Goff got strip-sacked, immediately putting the Vikings into field goal range. The Vikings took 2:11 off the clock and Cousins was able to find Justin Jefferson in the endzone on third and goal. Giving the Vikings a 23-21 lead with 1:50 remaining in the game, and zero timeouts for the Lions.
Against all odds, Goff led the Lions’ offense on a 14-play, 75-yard drive, completing nine passes total, most importantly an 11-yard touchdown pass to a softly covered St. Brown as time expired.
The Lions finished the day with three penalties totaling 11 yards and scored a touchdown off of the Charles Harris strip-sack on Kirk Cousins.
Justin Jefferson gave the Lions secondary fits all day, having himself a day, recording 11 receptions for 182-yards and a touchdown.
Riley Patterson may have put the Lions’ kicking carousel to rest, as he was perfect today, going two for two on extra points and drilling 31, 41, and 49-yard field goals.
The Lions scored more than 20 points for the first time since week 1 against the 49ers, ending the day with 27 points total. Also ending the league’s active streak of most games (10) with scoring fewer than 20 points.
All three phases of the game shined at some point during the game for the Lions, that coupled with the laundry list of injuries for the Vikings allowed Detroit to get their first victory this season and for the Dan Campbell era.
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