Detroit Lions Defense Dominates, Defeat Minnesota Vikings 17-3


The Detroit Lions headed north for an NFC North divisional match-up against the rival Minnesota Vikings on Sunday and were able to come out on top, winning the game by a score of 17-3.

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The Detroit Lions defense continued to show why they are the NFL’s top ranked defense, keeping Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater under thumb for the entire game. Linebacker Tahir Whitehead intercepted two passes, and Glover Quin one as the Detroit D allowed just 212 yards of total offense.

Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Whitehead has started in place of the injured Stephen Tulloch for the past three games and has filled in nicely. Ziggy Ansah had three sacks and a forced fumble.

Unfortunately however, the special teams problems continued for the Detroit Lions and the offense struggled to move the ball with two big name players missing from their lineup. Both Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson were inactive for todays division bout, leaving the receiving duties to guys like Golden Tate and Eric Ebron and the rushing duties to Joique Bell, Theo Riddick, and George Winn.

Riddick got things rolling early for Detroit, breaking free on a 41-yard screen pass on the opening drive. He also scored his first career touchdown. He led the Lions in receptions with 75 receiving yards off of five catches, despite leaving the game in the second half due to continued issues with his hamstring.

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Quarterback Matthew Stafford finished the day 19 of 33 for 185 yards. Joique Bell had 74 yards rushing on 18 carries and scored on a 1-yard leap in the fourth quarter.

Matt Prater who was signed this week was expected to solve the kicking plague in the motor city, yet the problems continued Sunday. Prater missed on two of his three attempts, but did make a 52 yarder at the end of the second half. To be fair however, it looked like it may have been a bad hold on the first miss. Hopefully he was just getting the rust cleaned off.

Prior to signing Prater, the previous Detroit Lions kickers made 5 0f 15 attempts.

Bridgewater, in his second career start, was 23 of 37 passing for 188 yards for the Vikings with three interceptions.

Had Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh not made a 40-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter, the Detroit Lions would have had their first shut out since September of 1996. It was a win, on the road nonetheless.

The Detroit Lions will be back at home next week to take on Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints at Ford Field. As of right now, it appears that the Saints will be without Pro Bowl pass catcher, Jimmy Graham who is battling a shoulder injury.