8 quick thoughts on the Minnesota Vikings loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 16

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson / David Berding/GettyImages
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On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings had the opportunity to deliver an early Christmas present to their fans in their Week 16 matchup against the Detroit Lions.

Instead, it was the Lions that were able to leave U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday with a 30-24 win and their first division title since 1993.

The Vikings fought hard, but they were only able to overcome so many obstacles during the contest before it became too difficult to get a victory.

With Sunday's loss, Minnesota's record drops to 7-8 and they likely have to win both of their final two games this season to qualify for the 2023 playoffs.

We'll publish a more detailed analysis in the near future, but what are some of the quick takeaways from the Vikings' loss to the Lions on Sunday?

1. Four turnovers will always be too difficult to overcome

A week after two interceptions thrown by Nick Mullens proved to be costly in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Minnesota quarterback was back to throwing the ball to the other team again Sunday.

This time, however, Mullens threw four interceptions, and that was more than enough for Detroit to leave the Vikings' home-field with a win.

It's easy to just put all of the blame on Mullens for Minnesota's loss, but the guy has been a career backup quarterback in the NFL for a reason, and he proved this to be true again on Sunday.

Could the Vikings turn to rookie signal-caller Jaren Hall after Mullens' four-interception performance against the Lions?

It seems more possible than ever now, but Minnesota was only going to get so far without Kirk Cousins this season, and they've been facing that reality head on during their last few games.

2. Land Clark's officiating crew strikes again

Earlier this season, Land Clark's officiating crew was assigned to the Vikings' Week 5 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.

During that game, Clark's crew made some egregious mistakes, including missed calls for defensive pass interference and removal of the helmet.

Clark's crew worked Sunday's game in Minnesota and it didn't take them long to make another mistake with a poor call.

With Detroit facing a 2nd-and-26 from their own 34-yard line in the second quarter, Lions quarterback Jared Goff tossed a pass to tight end Sam LaPorta that only resulted in a five-yard gain.

However, Vikings pass rusher Patrick Jones II wound up drawing an extremely questionable flag for roughing the passer that resulted in an automatic first down for Detroit.

It seemed like a routine pass rush by Jones, but Clark's officiating crew clearly felt otherwise, and the penalty ultimately resulted in the Lions being able to drive down the field and add three points to their total.