Lions T Jeff Backus has now started 173 consecutive games. Last week, he set a new franchise record for consecutive starts by surpassing Hall of Fame CB Dick Lebeau whose previous record was 171 consecutive starts.
On the opening defensive play of the game, DECliff Avril registered a 10-yard sack and forced fumble resulting in a fumble recovery for a touchdown by LB Stephen Tulloch. Avril now has 8 sacks this season, and he entered today’s game tied for a League-high with 5 forced fumbles, which he now has moved to six this season.
The last time the Lions defense recovered a fumble in the endzone for a touchdown was DE Robert Porcher vs. Minnesota 12/29/02.
The fumble recovery for a touchdown is the Lions fifth defensive touchdown of the season (3 interceptions, 2 fumble return).
Avril registered stopped the Vikings on their third drive of the game with a 3-yard sack, establishing a new single-season career high with 9.
On his first reception of the game, WR Calvin Johnson reached 70 catches on the season. He joined WR Herman Moore (5) and WR Johnnie Morton (3) as the only players in team history with 70 receptions in three different seasons.
Johnson is now the first player in team history with 70 receptions in three of his first five seasons with the club.
On the Vikings second offensive drive, CB Alphonso Smith picked off a pass at the Detroit 43-yard line and returned it 4 yards. It was his first of the season and sixth since joining the Lions in 2010. He now has 6 career interceptions.
With Smith’s interception, the Lions now have 16 interceptions on the season. The Lions defense registered turnovers on the Vikings first two offensive possessions.
WR Titus Young pushed the Lions lead to 14-0 in the first quarter on a 57-yard pass from QB Matthew Stafford. It was Young’s third touchdown catch of the year and the 57-yard reception is a new career high.
QB Matthew Stafford has now thrown a touchdown pass in 15 consecutive games, and has thrown at least 2 touchdown passes in the Lions 13 games this season.
TE Brandon Pettigrew registered his fourth reception of the game to end the first quarter and moved his season totals to 60. He became the first tight end in Lions history to record 60 receptions in two different seasons (71 in 2010).
Smith’s interception return for a touchdown was the Lions fourth interception return for a touchdown of the season. It marks the first time since 1970 that the Lions have returned four interceptions for touchdowns as a team, and it is tied for the second-most in a single-season in team history (6 in 1967).
Smith put the Lions up 28-7 after picking off a Vikings pass and returning it 30 yards for a touchdown. It marks the first the first time in his three-year career he has registered 2 interceptions in a game and it is his second career interception return for a touchdown.
The Lions scored 31 points against the Minnesota Vikings in the first half to take a 31-14 lead into the locker room. It marks the first time the Lions have scored 30 points in the first half since they scored 31 vs. Minnesota November 17, 1985. It is the ninth time in team history that the Lions have scored 30 points in the first half.