The Minnesota Vikings (6-8) blew a two-touchdown lead and lost to the Detroit Lions (10-4) in a defensive struggle, 16-14 in Detroit on Sunday.
The winning score came late in the fourth quarter; a 33-yard field goal by Lions kicker Matt Prater. The boot put Detroit on top by two points with 3:38 left in the game.
Minnesota had two possessions fail before the clock ran out. The first possession ended and back-to-back incomplete passes on third- and- fourth-down. The final drive, and game, ended when the Vikings sent Blair Walsh onto the field for a game-winning field goal attempt from 68 yards, which would have set an NFL record. The kick came up well short. Prater, for the record, owns the NFL record – a 64-yard field goal he converted during his time with the Denver Broncos.
Walsh missed three field goals on the day, also missing from 53 and having another blocked by Lions defensive lineman Jason Jones.
Detroit and Green Bay are both 10-4, but the Lions lead the NFC North thanks to a head-to-head win over the Packers earlier this season, according to Pro Football Talk.
The Vikings jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter thanks to a two-yard rushing touchdown by Matt Asiata and a eight-yard scoring strike from Teddy Bridgewater to Greg Jennings.
Minnesota's defense spent the majority of the rest of the second quarter on the field after Bridgewater's hot start cooled with interceptions on consecutive passes.
Glover Quinn intercepted a Bridgewater overthrow and returned it deep into Vikings territory. The short drive was capped off by a seven-yard touchdown from Matthew Stafford to Golden Tate. The next Bridgwater pass was picked off by cornerback Darius Slay. The result was a 29-yard field goal by Prater to end the first half, cutting the Vikings' lead to 14-10.
Prior to the consecutive interceptions, Bridgewater was 15-of-18 for 189 yards and a touchdown, the Star Tribune reports. The rookie finished 31-of-41 for 315 yards, one touchdown and the pair of interceptions. Stafford was held to 153 passing yards and one touchdown.
The Vikings were eliminated from playoff contention when the Rams lost to the Cardinals on Thursday Night Football. Minnesota closes the season at Miami next Sunday and at home against the Chicago Bears in Week 17.
- Vikings: Matt Asiata 2-yard rush, 7-0 first quarter
- Vikings: Greg Jennings 8-yard reception from Teddy Bridgewater, 14-0 second quarter
- Lions: Golden Tate 7-yard reception from Matthew Stafford, 14-7 second quarter
- Lions: Matt Prater 29-yard field goal, 14-10 second quarter
- Lions: Matt Prater 30-yard field goal, 14-13 third quarter
- Lions: Matt Prater 33-yard field goal, 16-14 fourth quarter