MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Detroit Lions led most of the way but needed an overtime rally for a 22-16 triumph over the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The setback was the Vikes’ third straight after opening the season at 5-0.
The Lions struck first after a sustained drive, featuring a 42-yard run by Theo Riddick. Detroit got on the scoreboard when Matt Prater’s 47-yard field goal gave the Lions a 3-0 lead with 7:14 remaining in the opening stanza.
That score held up until the first break.
The Vikings knotted the count when Blair Walsh booted a 33-yard field goal with 13:20 to go in the second period. Chad Greenway then intercepted a Matthew Stafford pass for Minnesota, setting up an exchange of possessions between the two teams that lasted until Stafford hit Anquan Boldin with a 1-yard TD pass with just :05 showing on the clock to provide the Lions with a 10-3 edge at intermission.
The second half was more of the same until the Vikes marched 78 yards downfield and closed to within 10-9 on a 1-yard scoring strike from Sam Bradford to tight end Kyle Rudolph, who was wide open in the end zone.
But Walsh missed the ensuing point-after, hitting the right upright, leaving Minnesota with a 10-9 deficit — a margin that stood up until the end of the third quarter.
Early in the finale the Lions blocked Walsh’s 46-yard field goal attempt, which Glover Quin recovered and returned 32 yards to near midfield. Detroit then began a drive of its own, culminating in a 52-yard field goal by Prater and a 13-9 advantage with 12:38 to go in the game.
Minnesota responded by moving quickly up the field, before stalling when the Lions’ defense held the Vikings for no gain on fourth-down at the 5-yard line with 8:14 remaining to play.
But the home team came right back and eventually took its first lead of the day at 16-13 on a handoff to tight end Rhett Ellison for a 1-yard touchdown run with only 23 seconds left in the contest.
After Stafford quickly drove Detroit downfield, Prater hit a 58-yard field goal as time expired to deadlock the score at 16-all and send the game into overtime.
Stafford then took over and steadily drove the Lions during the OT session. They wrapped up the victory when Stafford hit Golden Tate with a 28-yard touchdown pass, with Tate somersaulting into the end zone at the 8:21 juncture.
The Lions are now 5-4 overall and 1-2 in the NFC North Division. They’ll now enjoy a bye week off before hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, at Ford Field.
Minnesota now stands 5-3 overall and 1-2 against NFC North opposition entering next Sunday’s trip to meet the Washington Redskins.