Winless Detroit Lions vs Don’t bet on the Vikings
This week’s upset special is brought to you by the Detroit Lions. In one of the feel-good stories of the season, the winless Lions faced off against their division rival Minnesota Vikings and came out with their first win of the season. Unless you had money on the Vikings, everyone in the country was pulling for Detroit. I watched every snap of this game, so there is nobody better to break this game down. This one had no shortage of emotional swings and, of course, dumb coaching decisions.
The Vikings jumped out to an early lead thanks to a pair of field goals, which was the only scoring of the first quarter. The second quarter, however, was all Lions. Detroit captured the lead early in the quarter on a TJ Hockenson snag from Jared Goff. It wasn’t just their offense who stepped up in this quarter. On the next Vikings drive, linebacker Charles Harris strip sacked Kirk Cousins. This is when Detrot seemed to seize the momentum in this game.
Goff led a short three play drive right down the field and found his other tight end Brock Wright for a 23 yard touchdown. The Detroit defense came up big again and forced a three and out on the next drive. The Lions capitalized and tacked on a field goal to increase their lead to 11. The defense flexed their muscles again when they sacked Cousins on a 4th &10 with 35 seconds left in the half. Rookie Lions kicker added a 41 yard field goal with just six second left in the half to take a 14 point lead into the break.
Now, with any other team you would probably think this game is a wrap, but this is the Lions. I had Lions +7 and I wasn’t even feeling very confident in that. I even texted my buddies that watching the Lions blow this game was going to be rough. And the third quarter started trending in that direction.
The Lions went three and out on their first two drives, which led to 9 unanswered points (failed two point conversion) for Minnesota and cut the lead to five. This is when it started to seem like Detroit was going to pull off one of their patented choke jobs. But they added a field goal in the final minutes of the quarter to make it an eight point lead,
The Vikings came out in the fourth quarter and found the endzone on a five yard pass to KJ Osborne from Cousins. However, they failed on another two point conversion in an attempt to tie the game. This felt like the turning point for the Lions. They just needed to avoid bad mistakes and go down and score to put the game out of reach. Easy enough right?
Well Jared Goff threw an interception at the Minnesota 38, giving them excellent field position to steal a win. But the defense came up big again and forced yet another three and out. Now there is just over five minutes left. Nothing stupid and Detroit will win. But we all know “Don’t do anything stupid,” is not in Dan Campbell’s playbook.
Detroit was held to a three and out after they were stuffed on a 3rd & 1 at their own 28. Campbell left bhis offense on the field but wisely called a timeout and seemed like he was going to punt. But in a horrifying turn of events, he sent the offense back out after the timeout. Goff dropped back and was immediately strip-sacked. Minnesota recovered the fumble deep in Detroit territory as a chorus of boo’s rained on Dan Cambell and his mind-boggling decision to go for it.
Minnesota marched down and scored on a Justin Jefferson TD grab. After yet another failed two point attempt, Detroit got the ball back down two with 1:50 left. Definitely still time, but when you think of great two-minute offenses, you don’t think Detroit Lions.
Goff came out firing and before you knew it, they had 3rd & 2l on the Vikings’ 11 with just eight seconds left. Goff attempted to find Titans legend Josh Reynolds for the game winning TD, but the pass fell incomplete. One final play. 4th & 2 with four seconds left. This is what movies are made about.
Goff dropped back and found receiver Armon-Ra St. Brown who was, somehow, left wide open in the endzone. Ball game. The Lions are winless no longer. In a game where Dan Campbell seemed to do everything to lose it, Detroit escaped with a win. Why Minnesota’s DB’s were standing in the back of the endzone, I have no idea. But it gave us the moment of the weekend. God knows Lions fans needed it.
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.