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Vikings Hold Off Second-Half Struggles, Beat Lions 30-23

Hold Off Second-Half Struggles Keith Allison via Flickr


Vikings Hold Off Second-Half Struggles, Beat Lions 30-23

The Vikings had to hold off second-half struggles versus the Lions to improve to 9-2 on the season. With a win today the Vikings now have taken complete control of the NFC North. With five games to go this Vikings team is showing that it is resilient and can handle any task thrown its way.

Hot First-Half Sets The Tone

The Vikings came out on Thursday red-hot. The Vikings defense opened the game by posting a three and out. The offense followed it up with the same dominance with a touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph on a 14 play 80-yard drive.

59 seconds after a Detroit fumble at the 39-yard line Case Keenum scampered in for a nine-yard touchdown run putting the Vikings up 13-0. The Lions were able to answer with a 32 yard Prater field goal.

1 minute and 21 seconds later Case Keenum and Kyle Rudolph connected for their second touchdown of the first half capping off an impressively hot start for Keenum and company. The Lions were able to connect on a six-yard touchdown pass with 27 seconds left.

Vikings Hold Off Second-Half Struggles

In the second half, the Vikings looked like they were going to continue their dominance when they opened up with a four-play 75-yard touchdown drive. The Lions were able to hold true to their “comeback kids” mantra when they put together three straight scoring drives trimming the Vikings lead down to just four.

The defense came out to play when it mattered most at the end of the game. Pulling together a huge three and out that allowed the offense to carve some time off the clock. Kai Forbath was able to connect on 36-yard field goal pushing the Vikings lead to seven. On the final Lions drive, Xavier Rhodes was able to escape a shaky game with a game-sealing interception.

Not So Special Teams

The Vikings special teams struggled tremendously throughout the game. Two blocked field goals almost cost the Vikings a win today, and the return game was not strong as well. Marcus Sherels had 30 combined punt and kick return yards today. Quigley played a decent gaming punting two balls inside the 20, but still only managed 35.3 yards per punt.

Special teams are the clear weak link to this Vikings team, and it will be something to watch in the upcoming weeks. Kai Forbath’s field goal struggles continue to be a weekly issue, and as Vikings fans know special teams play significant factors in playoff football.

Big Winners Of The Day

Case Keenum continued his impressive season with another solid performance in Detroit. Keenum threw for 282 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Case struggled a little bit in the second half when pressure was applied. Luckily, he was still able to do enough to secure a big win.

Everson Griffen on the day of the birth of his third child played with an incredible amount of passion. Griffen tallied two sacks, a forced fumble, and brought continuous pressure onto Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Griffen came into today with plenty to play for, and he showed it by balling out.