Vikings hang on despite Lions late rally, 19-17
Vikings WIN! Vikings WIN! The Vikings nearly watched the game slip through their fingers as they allowed the Lions to keep the game close and actually take the lead with 37-seconds remaining. The offense stepped up, drove down the field with 2 timeouts, and gave Kicker Greg Joseph an opportunity to kick a game-winning, 54-yard field goal as time expired. He capitalized on the opportunity to help lift the Vikings to 2-3 on the season.
Joseph had a great day making 4 out of his 5 field goal attempts. His only miss of the day came with 3:17 left in the 4th quarter and kept the Vikings lead at the slim margin of 16-6. This miss, though, gave Jared Goff and the Lions offense a new breathe of life. The Lions were able to quickly drive down and make a field goal to get within 7 points, 16-9. Alexander Mattison, who started in place of the injured Dalvin Cook and totaled 153 yards and a touchdown on the day, had the ball ripped away from him on a 3rd and 7 run from Minnesota's own 21 yard line just after the two-minute warning. This was exactly what the Lions needed. I had actually texted some friends and told them right after this happened that the Lions would score and go for a 2-point conversion and the win. Three plays later, D'Andre Swift scooted in for the touchdown and instead of settling for the tie...you guessed it! Head Coach Dan Campbell and the winless Lions decided to keep the offense on the field and go for the win. Jared Goff kept the play alive and was able to hit a receiver in the back of the endzone to take a 17-16 lead. The rest is history as the Vikings were able to make things right and come out with the victory.
Deja Vue for the Lions: "You want it for everybody, man. You've got to earn one. We're this close. We haven't done it," said Campbell, who held back tears during his postgame news conference. Just two weeks earlier, the Lions found themselves in a similar situation as Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense drove down the field in the closing seconds before Justin Tucker hit an NFL-record 66-yard field goal for the win. The Lions can never seem to get their franchise turned around or ever catch any breaks.
Overall, the Vikings defense continues to play well, while the offense can't seem to put it all together and just win a game convincingly. I really hope the Vikings can put together a statement win against a VERY beatable Carolina Panthers team next week. The Panthers started the season out 3-0, but have dropped the last two games as QB Sam Darnold has come back to earth with 5 interceptions in those games as well as RB Christian McCaffrey having missed those games due to injury. No matter who plays, if this Vikings team has playoff aspirations, they need to win this game and win it with conviction. Show us fans some inspired football and go out there and have some fun! Go Vikings!