In Depth Game Review: Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings

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The Detroit Lions Were Dominated In Minnesota. 

First Quarter

The Vikings started this game with the ball and had no issues moving down the field. They advanced 65 yards in nine plays which culminated in a one-yard touchdown run from running back Latavius Murray.

Each team traded punts for the remainder of the first quarter.

Score: Vikings lead 7-0

Second Quarter

The Lion offense showed its first signs of life on their first possession of the second quarter. Detroit possessed the ball for 14 plays, totaling 48 yards on the drive. However, after quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked on third down they had to settle for a Matt Prater field goal.

The Lions carried that momentum over defensively when they intercepted Viking quarterback Kirk Cousins on the next drive. However, the Lions settled for another field goal after Stafford was sacked twice.

Minnesota answered by stealing the momentum right back with a touchdown reception from wide receiver Adam Theilen. They then added another field goal right before the half.

Score: Vikings lead 17-6

Third Quarter

The Lions started the third quarter with the ball. Back to back to back to back punts made up the third quarter as neither teams offense could get anything going.

Score: Vikings lead 17-6

Fourth Quarter

The Lions got lucky on the first drive of the fourth quarter when running back Dalvin Cook fumbled a halfback pitch. Lions defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson fell on the ball, giving the Lions possession and momentum.

Detroit squandered this new life though when Stafford attempted to pitch the ball to running back Kerryon Johnson on a scramble. Johnson wasn’t ready and the ball sailed over his head. Viking defensive end Danielle Hunter recovered the ball and returned it for a touchdown, clinching the game for Minnesota.

Detroit added one more field goal before the clock it double zeros, but it was irrelevant.

Score: Vikings win 24-9

Key Stats

Matthew Stafford was sacked 10 times

Early in the game, the Lions offensive line was unable to protect Stafford. As the game wore on, Stafford started seeing ghosts in the pocket or holding the ball for too long, causing even more sacks. 10 sacks was a franchise record for the Vikings and the most Detroit has ever given up in a game.

The Lions ran for just 66 yards at 2.8 yards per attempt

After the Lions domination of the Dolphins on the ground three games ago they have been unable to cause any kind of threat on the ground. For the second game in a row uncreative run plays up the middle has been extremely detrimental to the Lions offense.

The Detroit offense totaled 209 yards at just 3.0 yards per play

In the wake of trading wide receiver Golden Tate, the Lions offense was abysmal. After losing their biggest playmaker Detroit came out as flat as I’ve ever seen them. Even when they had opportunities there seemed to be little to no effort and constant failure to execute mixed with terrible playcalling cost Detroit the game.

The Lions defense held the Vikings to 17 points, 283 totals yards and forced two turnovers

The good news is the Lions defense was actually good in this game. Minnesota has been a very explosive offense this year, and holding them to the numbers above in Minnesota is extremely respectable. The Lions offense has to do better, the defense played as good as anybody reasonably could have asked.

Plays Of The Game

Darius Slay‘s Interception

Danielle Hunter’s Touchdown

Detroit Lions Player Of The Game

Damon Harrison is this weeks Lions player of the game. After Detroit acquired him from the Giants in a trade two weeks ago, Harrison has been dominant on the interior of the Lions defensive line. He finished the game on Sunday with 6 tackles and 1 tackle for loss.

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At this point, Harrison looks to be a cornerstone player of the Lions through at least 2020. He is unquestionably the best nose tackle in the entire NFL right now and is a piece that head coach Matt Patricia can build his defense around.

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