The Minnesota Vikings got a true challenge against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, but a couple of key plays down the stretch helped seal the 42-30 victory.
The Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions have had their seasons cross similar paths. But coming into Sunday’s matchup at Ford Field, there was a key difference that resulted in the Vikings being 4-2 and the Lions being 2-2-1.
While the Vikings have been able to put away opponents by making key plays down the stretch, the Lions haven’t been able to do the same. This narrative continued in this NFC North showdown as the Vikings were able to come away with their third straight victory and fourth straight over the Lions by a score of 42-30 on Sunday.
Much like the Lions did last Monday night against the Green Bay Packers, Detroit got off to a great start taking advantage of soft coverage from the Vikings. Marvin Jones Jr. was a thorn in the Vikings’ side with three-first half touchdowns, but Minnesota had some offense of their own to help weather the storm.
Kirk Cousins had another solid day which started with a perfect throw to Adam Thielen on a 25-yard pass that would open the scoring, but also knock the star receiver out of the game with a hamstring injury. Cousins then connected with Bisi Johnson on his first career touchdown later in the half and Dalvin Cook found his way into the end zone to send Minnesota into the locker room tied at 21.
The Vikings would have a chance to extend the lead on the next drive, but a long pass from Cousins went through the hands of Stefon Diggs and Dan Bailey then missed a field goal for the first time since Week 2 to make things interesting.
With that, Cousins put the game on his back, finding Kyle Rudolph for a 15-yard touchdown and after Jones scored his fourth touchdown of the day to bring the Lions back within four, Cousins found Diggs on a 66-yard, play-action pass to set up Cook’s second touchdown of the day and seal the win for Minnesota.
The Vikings are now 5-2 on the year and remain a game back of the Green Bay Packers for first place in the NFC North. The Vikings will have no time to celebrate, however, as they now have a short week before Thursday night matchup against the 1-6 Washington Redskins.