A lot of the negative things that have plagued the Lions this season reared their ugly heads Sunday in Minnesota.
Big plays allowed in the run game on defense, inefficiency in the red zone, inconsistency on offense and even some special teams lapses all added up to the Lions being on the wrong side of a 24-9 score. The defeat drops them to 3-5 on the season.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook broke off a 70-yard run in the second quarter that set up Minnesota's second touchdown of the game. It was the fourth run of 50-plus yards the Lions have given up this season. The Vikings gained 128 total yards on the ground for an average of 5.6 yards per carry. Detroit entered the game 31st in the NFL against the run (144.6 yards per game).
The Lions were forced to kick two field goals the first two times they reached the red zone. Detroit was 0-for-3 in the red zone for the game.
It was really Minnesota's defense that was the story in this one. They forced the Lions into just 145 yards of total offense midway through the fourth quarter (214 for the game), sacked Matthew Stafford 10 times, and even returned a fumble for a touchdown.
The Lions got three field goals from Matt Prater, an interception from Darius Slay and a fumble recovery by A'Shawn Robinson, but that was about all that went right for the Lions Sunday.
View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions Week 9 game against the Minnesota Vikings.
QB Comparison: Neither quarterback was lights out in this one.
Kirk Cousins was 18-of-22 passing for 164 yards with a touchdown (Adam Thielen) and an interception. His final passer rating was 93.9.
Stafford was under duress all afternoon. He completed 25 of his 36 attempts for 199 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He had a passer rating of 83.0. It was his fumble that Minnesota returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Sack attack: Stafford was under constant pressure all game, and even on the occasions he did have time to throw, the coverage was usually so good that the result was ultimately pressure on him anyway.
When it was all said and done, the Vikings recorded 10 sacks on Stafford, led by 2.5 each for Danielle Hunter and Tom Johnson. The Lions had given up just 13 sacks in seven games coming into the contest.
The Vikings season high for sacks in any single game before Sunday was four. Six different players were in on sacks for the Vikings.
Key stat: How were the Lions going to cope with the loss of Golden Tate, who was the team's leading receiver on third down? Detroit was just 4-of-15 (27 percent) on third down in the game.
Injury report: Lions left tackle Taylor Decker dealt with some cramping issues in the second half, but did return to the game. Guard T.J. Lang left late in the fourth quarter and did not return.