MINNEAPOLIS – Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell talked this week about the big test for his young football team as they prepared to hit the road for the first time this season and take on a division opponent in a hostile environment.
That test proved too great Sunday in Minnesota as the Lions fell to the Vikings, 28-24.
Detroit led by 10 points in the fourth quarter, but miscues late cost them. They failed to secure the win with the offense on the field on a 4th and 1 at the Vikings' 30-yard line with three and a half minutes remaining and leading 24-21.
Then, with a chance to take a six-point lead with just over a minute left, Lions kicker Austin Seibert missed a 54-yard field goal.
The Vikings' offense took over from there, moving down the field with ease and capping off the drive with a 28-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins to wide receiver K.J. Osborn on a busted coverage from Detroit's defense. It was the first lead of the game for the Vikings and came with just 45 seconds left on the clock.
View photos from the Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings Week 3 game at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Minneapolis, MN.
The game ended with a Jared Goff interception as the Lions desperately tried to find the end zone late.
The Lions struggled to convert on third down all afternoon, finishing just 3-of-16, but Campbell has proven in his short Lions tenure he's not afraid to take a gamble and go for it on fourth down. The Lions set the NFL record for fourth-down attempts and conversions last season.
Detroit was 4-of-6 of fourth down with all four of those conversions leading to points on the drive they occurred, but they'll lament not converting the last one that could have helped seal it.
Detroit had ample opportunities to put the game away late, but failed to do so on all three phases.
QB Comparison: Goff finished 25-of-41 passing for 277 yards with a touchdown and an interception for a 79.0 passer rating.
Cousins completed 24 of his 41 passes for 260 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 93.5 rating.
Streaking: The Lions opened the 2022 season by scoring a touchdown in 10 consecutive quarters, which matches the 1920 Buffalo All Americans and 1998 San Francisco 49ers for the most consecutive quarters with a touchdown scored to open an NFL season.
Detroit set a new record of 11 straight quarters with a touchdown on Williams' touchdown run in the third quarter. The streak ended in the fourth quarter.
Key moment: Seibert's missed 54-yard field goal proved to be huge for the Lions. Not only did it prevent the Lions from going up by a touchdown, but it gave the Vikings the ball down three at their own 44-yard line. Seibert missed two field goals on the day.
Injury report: Starting safety Tracy Walker left the game late in the first quarter with a left ankle injury. Walker made his way to the sideline slowly and after doctors looked at the ankle, he got on a cart and was transported to the locker room. He did not return to the game. He was replaced by JuJu Hughes.
Next up: vs. Seattle (1-1)