Detroit's four-game winning streak on Thanksgiving was abruptly ended by the Minnesota Vikings Thursday.
Again, it was a slow start that ultimately doomed the Lions in this one, which has been an ongoing problem for the Lions the last three weeks.
View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day matchup vs. Minnesota Vikings.
They fell into a 13-0 hole to begin this one. Unlike the prior two weeks, when Detroit was able to battle back from 10-0 deficits vs. both Cleveland and Chicago, this early hole proved too much to climb out of in an eventual 30-23 defeat.
The Vikings led 20-3 at one point in the second quarter, though Detroit did climb back to within 27-23 in the fourth quarter, and had the ball with a chance to tie the game in the final minutes.
Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes ended the comeback bid, however, with an interception of a Matthew Stafford pass intended for Marvin Jones Jr. at the Lions 37-yard line late in the game. Rhodes returned it to the Detroit 16-yard line, and the Vikings were able to run out the final two minutes and change on the clock from there.
The loss drops the Lions to 6-5 on the year, and three games behind the Vikings (9-2) in the NFC North with just five games remaining.
Jones and Matt Prater accounted for all of Detroit's offense. Jones caught six passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns (6 and 43). Prater added three field goals from 32, 32 and 50 yards, respectively.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph caught two touchdowns for Minnesota. Quarterback Case Keenum and running back Latavius Murray both rushed for a score.
QB Comparison: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford wasn't particularly sharp all game. He completed just 20 of his 35 passes for 250 yards with two touchdowns and that interception. He had a passer rating of 86.6.
Stafford rolled an ankle in the fourth quarter on his second touchdown pass to Jones. He got it taped on the sideline and did return, but was limping noticeably on it.
Keenum, on the other hand, was very sharp all afternoon. The Minnesota signal caller was 21-of-30 passing for 282 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a quarterback rating of 121.8. He also rushed for 20 yards and a score.
Hands up: Lions defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson has an uncanny ability to get his hand on the football, whether it's on passing downs or special teams. Robinson has 11 passes defended in a little over a year and a half in the league.
He got his hand up and blocked a Kai Forbath extra point attempt early in the game, following Minnesota's first touchdown of the game.
Not to be outdone, rookie defensive tackle Jeremiah Ledbetter got penetration and blocked a 53-yard Forbath field goal attempt in the second quarter.
That's four points Robinson and Ledbetter kept off the scoreboard. It helped make it a close game at the end.
Tight end problem: The Lions entered Thanksgiving only allowing three touchdowns to tight ends all year (Evan Engram, New York; Michael Hoomanawanui, New Orleans & Adam Shaheen, Chicago).
Vikings veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph caught all four of his targets Thursday for 63 yards and two scores.
Injury report: The Lions lost starters Tavon Wilson (shoulder) and center Travis Swanson (knee) to injury in the second half. Neither player returned to the game.
In Swanson's case, left guard Graham Glasgow moved to center and Corey Robinson filled in at left guard.