Defense- 2/5 Stars
Through the first half and the opening few minutes of the second half, this defense was playing the bend-don’t-break style pretty well. They were giving up yards, but the Vikings struggled to finish drives off, and touchdowns turned to field goals.
Unfortunately, the Vikings eventually broke through. And they scored three touchdowns in the second half. They also went 0-for-3 on two-point conversions, which proved to be the difference in the game.
The Lions also generated pressure on Kirk Cousins, especially early on. But that dried up in the second half. Bootlegs particularly got the Lions. There were at least half a dozen instances where Cousins would fake a handoff or a toss, roll out, and have no defender within five yards of him.
In the end though, the defense did their part by keeping it close. That’s all you can ask them to do on a week-to-week basis.
Best defensive player: OLB Charles Harris
Harris was a force to be reckoned with in this game. The Vikings’ offensive line had no answers for him at times.
Harris had two sacks, one of which was a strip-sack that was recovered by Julian Okwara.
Harris is now up to six sacks on the year, as he continues to have a career year. Coming into the season, he had 6.5 sacks over his first four seasons in the league.
Worst defensive player: CB Amani Oruwariye
Through no fault of his own, Oruwariye had a bad day against Justin Jefferson. As it did in Week 5, though mostly in the first half of that game, it all applies once again for Sunday–with a shift to the second half.
The Lions simply don’t have anyone capable of covering Jefferson, not that most teams do. It’s not entirely Oruwariye’s fault, it’s just how things play out.
Special Teams- 4/5 Stars
There were some worrisome returns given up early on. But after they stopped kicking the ball to Kene Nwangwu, things settled on that front.
On the other side, Godwin Igwebuike had a nice 30-yard return, but other than that both he and Kalif Raymond were quiet in Detroit’s return game.
Jack Fox averaged over 55 yards per punt on his three kicks, with a long of 62 yards. So just an average game of excellence for him
Riley Patterson was perfect, hitting all three pf his field goals (with a long of 49 yards) and both extra points he attempted.
That was just a solid game all around for the Lions’ special teams unit.