TWENTYMAN: Lions lose uninspired finale in Minnesota, 14-13

Posted Dec 29, 2013

The Lions couldn't hold another fourth quarter lead as they lose for the sixth time in seven games

Rob Sims and other veteran Detroit Lions players talked all week long about Sunday’s game in Minnesota being about “pride” with nothing else on the line.

The Lions were hoping to finish a disappointing season on a good note an have something to hang their hat on. Unfortunately, they came out flat, again, and couldn’t hold a fourth-quarter lead, again, and droped their season-finale 14-13.

Matthew StaffordQB Matthew Stafford (Photo: Gavin Smith)

The Lions finish the season 7-9 and are losers of six of their last seven games. Amazingly, they’ve held the lead in the fourth quarter in all six of those most recent losses.

It was a lot of the same script that's been written all year for the Lions, just another day. They couldn’t make a play on offense to extend a lead late or couldn't make a big play on defense to hold a lead.

It was a complete team loss on Sunday, with the offense, defense and special teams having a hand in it.

The Lions trailed 7-0 at halftime after recording just 56 yards of total offense over the first 30 minutes.

The Vikings lone score of the half came on a 50-yard run by receiver Cordarrelle Patterson on a reverse.

The Lions offense arose from it’s funk to march nine plays and 85 yards down the field on their opening possession of the second half to tie the score at 7-7 on a 20-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Reggie Bush.

David Akers added two for field goals to push the Lions lead to 13-7 early in the fourth quarter, but those field goals were consolations for two drives that stalled inside the Vikings 10-yard line.

The Vikings recaptured the lead for good with 9:19 left in the game on a 8-yard pass from Matt Cassel to Patterson. The score was set up by a 50-yard punt return by Marcus Sherels down to the Lions 8-yard line.

The Lions were forced to punt on their next possession and could make a stop on defense.

The Lions offense converted just 5 of 15 third downs in the game and had 245 yards of offense playing without Pro Bowl receiver Calvin Johnson.

The last time they played without Johnson was back in October at Green Bay and scored just nine points and had 245 yards of offense.

Stafford finished the game 22-of-33 passing for 217 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions.

Reggie Bush eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season, but had just 32 yards in this one.

The Vikings ended with 174 rushing yards and 345 total yards.