The Minnesota Vikings' offense has been clicking on all cylinders in blowout wins over Philadelphia and the New York Giants the past two weeks. That offensive explosion continued Sunday at Ford Field, as the Lions' defense had no answer for the Vikings in a 42-30 loss.
After punting on their first possession of the game, the Vikings reeled off four straight touchdown drives to take a 28-21 lead they’d never relinquish. Minnesota ended up scoring six touchdowns, amassing 503 yards of total offense and punting just twice all contest.
The Lions trimmed the Vikings' lead to 35-30 with 3:05 left in the game on wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr.’s fourth touchdown catch of the game. From there, it was up to the defense to get a late stop and get the ball back for the offense. They simply couldn’t.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins hit wide receiver Stefon Diggs on a 67-yard pass down to the Detroit 4-yard line, which ended up being a back breaker. Vikings running back Dalvin Cook scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run two plays later (his second of the game) to extend the lead to 42-30.
Detroit’s defense entered the game 29th in total defense (413.8), 28th against the pass (280.0) and 27th against the run (133.8), but their saving grace so far on the year had been creating turnovers (11) and being good in the red zone (45 percent). They generated zero turnovers Sunday, and Minnesota was 5-for-5 in the red zone.
The loss, Detroit’s third in a row, drops them to 2-3-1 on the year and 0-2 in the NFC North. The Vikings improve to 5-2 on the year.
Detroit got three first-half touchdowns from Jones, who became just the second Lions player to accomplish that feat and the first since Herman Moore did it against Green Bay back in 1995. Jones finished with 10 receptions for 93 yards and all four Detroit touchdowns.
View photos from the Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings Week 7 game at Ford Field on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 in Detroit.
QB comparison: Cousins continued to stay hot. He completed 24-of-34 passes for 337 yards with four touchdowns to four different receivers. He didn’t throw an interception and finished with a 141.4 passer rating.
Matthew Stafford completed 30 of his 45 passes for 364 yards with those four touchdowns to Jones and a late interception. He finished with a 111.7 passer rating.
Promising trend: Stafford recorded his fourth game of the year with a 90-plus passer rating and his third of 100.0-plus. It was his third game of the season with at least three touchdown passes and his first with four passing scores.
Unfortunate trend: Run defense continues to be a serious issue for the Lions. Detroit entered Sunday’s game allowing 133.8 rushing yards per game, which ranked 27th in the NFL. Detroit hasn’t held an opponent under 112 yards rushing in any game this year.
Minnesota came into this one with the league’s third ranked rushing offense (159.0). They had 94 rushing yards in the first half and finished the game with 166.
Cook finished with 142 rushing yards and those two scores.
Linebacker Jarrad Davis (ankle) and defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr. (groin) left the game for Detroit in the second half, but both returned to action.
Up next: vs. New York Giants (2-5)