DETROIT — Despite four touchdown catches by receiver Marvin Jones, the Detroit Lions suffered their third straight loss 42-30 to the Minnesota Vikings in a battle of NFC North rivals Sunday afternoon at Ford Field.
The game was broadcast live on FOX 17.
The Lions came in with a 2-2-1 record while the Vikes entered the proceedings at 4-2 and also as 1 1/2-point favorites.
Minnesota is quarterbacked by Holland native and former Michigan State signal-caller Kirk Cousins.
Detroit received the opening kickoff and drove steadily downfield on its second possession. Quarterback Matthew Stafford found Jones with a 16-yard scoring strike for a 7-0 bulge with 7:34 showing on the clock.
Cousins came right back with a 25-yard TD toss to Adam Thielen in the back of the end zone and the count was knotted at 7-all at the 5:14 juncture.
On the next drive, Stafford became the quickest quarterback in NFL history to reach 40,000 yards passing. The Lions scored shortly thereafter on another Stafford-Jones connection, this one for 3 yards, to go back up 14-7 with just 13 seconds to go in the opener.
The second stanza saw the Vikings once again deadlock the score at 14 when Cousins hit Bisi Johnson with a 1-yard touchdown pass with 12:39 left until intermission.
Detroit was beset with injuries during the day. By the midpoint of the second period, the Lions already had several stalwarts on the sidelines or in the locker room hurt.
Minnesota took its first lead at 21-14 on Dalvin Cook’s 8-yard run with 3:26 to go in the half. But with only 2 seconds remaining, Jones hauled in his third TD, a 10-yarder from Stafford, and the score was 21-all at the halfway point.
The Vikings regained control at the 9:02 mark of the third when Cousins combined with C.J. Ham for a 28-21 lead. Matt Prater then booted a 46-yard field goal and the Lions closed to within 28-24 with 3:22 to play in the third quarter, a gap that stood until the final break.
Minnesota went ahead 35-24 with 5:40 to go when Cousins hurled a 15-yard score to Kyle Rudolph. Jones then hauled in his fourth touchdown pass — a 2-yarder from Stafford with 3:05 on the timepiece to trim Detroit’s deficit to 35-30 after a two-point conversion attempt failed.
The Vikes tacked on some insurance to take command 42-30 when Cook scored his second touchdown from 3 yards away with 1:55 left, which remained in effect until the last seconds disappeared.
The Lions will remain home for their next opportunity, against the New York Giants with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. next Sunday at Ford Field.
The Vikings, meanwhile, will have just four days until their next tussle – a Thursday night homefield encounter with the Washington Redskins at U.S. Bank Stadium in the Twin Cities.