In a Thanksgiving day game that could have made them one step closer to winning the NFC North, the Detroit Lions lose to the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, 30-23.
The 6-4 Detroit Lions were hoping to close the gap with their divisional foes, the 8-2 Minnesota Vikings, on a very meaningful Thanksgiving day game in front of a massive holiday audience. Instead, the Lions fell behind early, down 21-3 until a Marvin Jones touchdown reception with :10 seconds left in the first half pulled them within 11 points going into the half.
The Vikings struck again at the start of the third quarter, scoring a touchdown in their opening drive of the second half off of four straight run plays. Detroit would answer back with two field goals and another score to cut Minnesota’s led down to four, 27-23 late in the final frame. But a Vikings’ field goal with just under four minutes left in the game combined with a Matthew Stafford interception on the Lions’ final drive sealed the Vikes’ victory.
Stafford didn’t play well in this holiday matchup, as he struggled with accuracy for most of the game. And that was before he appeared to injure his ankle in the fourth quarter. The NFL’s highest paid player completed just 20 of his 35 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns and that game-sealing interception.
Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. had an amazing Thanksgiving day game performance, catching six passes for 109 yards and two scores. On the flip side, the Lions’ top receiver, Golden Tate, ended his day with four receptions for a disappointing seven total yards. Tate’s longest catch of the day went for only three yards.
The Lions’ ground game didn’t fare much better. Running back Ameer Abdullah continues to struggle, rushing for 14 yards on six carries. Abdullah did post three receptions for 29 yards as well. Running back Theo Riddick finished the day with 20 rushing yards on five carries and had one catch for 10 yards.
Defensively, linebacker Tahir Whitehead once again led the team with 13 combined tackles. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah recorded his fifth sack of the season in this game. And both defensive tackle Akeem Spence and defensive end Anthony Zettel posted half a sack against the Vikings’ offense.
Next up on the 6-5 Detroit Lions’ schedule is a road game against the 5-5 Baltimore Ravens. That contest will take place on Sunday, December 3rd at 1:00 p.m. ET in M&T Bank Stadium.