Minneapolis, MN - After watching the first quarter against the Vikings, I thought that the Lions had no chance.... after all, Minnesota came right out and piled on 13 points, and with Detroit missing Kenny Golladay, I didn't see a way back for the team... but give Matthew Stafford credit.. A Matt Prater 23 yard field goal and then a 15 yard strike from Stafford to Marvin Jones had the Lions right back in it at 13-10..... For many Lions fans, confidence was returning but the defense would have to step up and get some stops...
Well, that hope fizzled because Minnesota's game plan was to stay on the attack and with time winding down in the first half, that strategy continued to pay dividends. Former Lions running back Ameer Abdullah crossing the goal line with 22 seconds left in the half, the Vikings again up by 10 at 20-10..... Kirk Cousins with a perfect QB rating of 158.3, after going 9-11 for 169 yards and 2 td's... Dalvin Cook with 112 total yards and a score and those stats were just from the first half....
Now armed with those numbers, the 2nd half was like watching a replay of the first.... Cook softening up the defense with the run game and then Cousins using play action to perfection as he connected with Irv Smith for Smith's 2nd touchdown of the game... 27-10 Minnesota way out in front on the scoreboard, which turned Detroit into a one dimensional passing offense- and when everyone knows what's coming the defense will make plays... Like former Redford Thurston standout Eric Wilson- Wilson halting a Lions drive with an interception of Matthew Stafford and Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks picking off another Stafford pass which was intended for T. J. Hockenson in the end zone on the very next series- OUCH!!! Detroit wasting opportunities for much of this game.
Situations like this allow the defense to tee-off and the Vikings were coming after Stafford... after a 4th quarter sack, he got up slowly and then was sent to the sidelines by referee Clete Blakeman after Stafford got crunched by Armon Watts-- Stafford headed into concussion protocol, his day was done. Chase Daniel came on in relief, but there was no relief from the blistering running of Dalvin Cook!! Cook busting through the Lions defense with a 70 yard dash to the end zone..... Minnesota with a 34-13 lead, and that was the dagger- OR was it??
Lions special teams have been a bright spot and that unit was gleaming again... Austin Bryant with a punt block, and Romeo Okwara also got a hand on a 4th quarter punt to set the Lions up with a first and goal from the 2 yard line.... Chase Daniel getting points out of the drive after hitting T. J. Hockenson and cutting the deficit to 14 at 34-20. However, the lack of run defense took the shine off of that- Detroit giving up 275 yards on the ground to Minnesota and there was no chance of recovery from that. Detroit falls to 3-5 after a 34-20 loss- Minnesota's Dalvin Cook collecting the first 200 yard rushing game of his career with 206!!
As far as bright spots go, Romeo Okwara was a standout on defense but after remarking this week that he was eager to prove to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer that he's a "great player", newly acquired Detroit defensive lineman Everson Griffen couldn't get anything going against his former team. Griffen finishing with 3 tackles, 1 solo and 1 pass defensed. This team needs work, and lot's of it... keep an eye on Fox 2 for updates to Matthew Stafford's condition and game status as Detroit approaches the matchup with the Washington football team next week.