Another shaky performance from Detroit's offense cost the Lions Sunday in a 27-9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the final home game of the season.
The Lions never found the end zone, as they had to settle for three Matt Prater field goals (47, 35, 48) for their scoring.
Detroit was also held out of the end zone in the first meeting between these two teams Week 9. It's the first time Detroit's been held out of the end zone twice in the same season by the same opponent since 1962, according to Mlive.com research.
It took a little time for the Vikings' offense to get going, but they scored two touchdowns in the final minute and half of the second quarter to take a halftime lead they'd never relinquish.
The fatal blow for the Lions was a 44-yard Hail Mary pass from Kirk Cousins to Kyle Rudolph with no time left in the first half.
Minnesota got two field goals and another Rudolph touchdown in the second half to round out the scoring.
View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions Week 16 game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Slow start, fast finish: Credit the Lions' defense for forcing Minnesota into a dreadful start on offense. Detroit forced a three and out on the first four Minnesota possessions. The Vikings had just four yards of total offense and no first downs late into the second quarter.
Minnesota finally started to put it together on that side of the ball with 4:05 left in the first half on their fifth possession of the game. Minnesota got their first first down, and managed to keep things rolling to go 89 yards in eight plays to score their first points on a Stefon Diggs 8-yard touchdown pass from Cousins with 1:32 left in half.
Detroit was forced to punt after just four plays following the Diggs touchdown with 36 seconds left in the half. Minnesota started at their own 30-yard line and moved to Detroit's 44-yard line with two seconds left to score on the Hail Mary from there.
Two touchdowns in a minute and 32 seconds changed the game.
The Lions out-gained the Vikings 90-4 in total yards in the first quarter. The remaining three quarters the Vikings out-gained the Lions 336 to 133 yards.
QB comparison: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford continued to struggle without a lot of his skill weapons available. Stafford threw for just 116 yards and completed 18-of-32 passes with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He finished with a 64.1 passer rating.
He was replaced by backup Matt Cassel late in the fourth quarter. Cassel finished 5-of-11 passing for 45 yards.
Cousins was very good after a slow start. He finished completing 21 of his 28 passes for 253 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 137.9
Injury report: Tight end Luke Willson was evaluated for a concussion in the first half and was later downgraded to out.
Cornerback DeShawn Shead suffered a knee injury and did not return. Starting defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson also suffered a knee injury and did not return to the game.
Next up: at Green Bay