We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Last year’s stunning loss to winless Lions should keep Vikings motivated

On that day, the Vikings came into Ford Field with a 5-6 record and looking to stay in the NFC playoff race, while the Lions were 0-10-1 and seemingly playing out the string. But Detroit won 29-27 in stunning fashion on a touchdown pass on the final play of the game.

120621.S.STP.VIKINGS-LEAD.JPG
Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (14) catches the game-winning touchdown in front of Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler (27) on the final play of the game Dec. 5, 2021, in Detroit.
USA Today Sports file photo
We are part of The Trust Project.

MINNEAPOLIS -- If the Minnesota Vikings need any extra motivation for Sunday’s game against Detroit, they can look back to Dec. 5, 2021.

On that day, the Vikings came into Ford Field with a 5-6 record and looking to stay in the NFC playoff race, while the Lions were 0-10-1 and seemingly playing out the string. But Detroit won 29-27 in stunning fashion on a touchdown pass on the final play of the game.

The game was a turning point for both teams. The Vikings finished the season 8-9, one game out of the playoff race, and head coach Mike Zimmer was fired and replaced by Kevin O’Connell. And the win led to some momentum by the Lions, who finished last season 3-3 and look to be much improved this year.

Fast forward to Sunday when the teams meet again, this time at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“That was definitely a tough loss, especially because we needed it to get into the playoffs and everything,” wide receiver Justin Jefferson said Thursday. “Them having not so good of a record last year and us going into their home and losing, it definitely did not leave a good taste in our mouth after that. So definitely ready to get back to it. Get back to them.”

ADVERTISEMENT

MORE MINNESOTA VIKINGS COVERAGE:
Pro
Pro Football Focus ranked Darrisaw as the Vikings’ top run blocker in the game against Detroit. And according to ESPN, Darrisaw is the fourth-best tackle in the NFL this season in its run-block ratings.
Pro
The injury is similar to the one Cook suffered Nov. 28, 2021 at San Francisco. He sat out a Dec. 5 game at Detroit before returning to rush for 205 yards on Dec. 9 against Pittsburgh while wearing a shoulder harness.
Pro
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound receiver out of LSU will be the focus of most, if not all opposing defenses for the rest of the season. He’s just that good. With Jefferson taken out of the offense, Adam Thielen (six catches, 61 yards and a touchdown) and Osborn (5-73-1) got the lion’s share of Cousins’ targets, which was enough to beat the Lions on Sunday.
Pro
It wasn’t always pretty, but it was a good win. An important win, particularly for a team still finding its legs. There’s a big difference between 2-1 and 1-2.
Pro
It was a resounding comeback by the Vikings, who heard boos when they fell behind 14-0 in the second quarter and 24-14 in the third quarter.
Pro
After a rough start to last season, Joseph has emerged as a secret weapon of sorts for the Vikings
Pro
After a 0-10-1 start a year ago, the Lions closed the season with three wins in their final six games, and now they look to be even better.
Pro
The missed game will be Smith's first since 2016 due to injury
Pro
Minnesota backup quarterbacks were both brought in after the preseason had started
Pro
Fellow cornerback Kris Boyd returned the blocked kick 27 yards to the Eagles’ 30-yard line, but Kirk Cousins followed with an interception and Minnesota failed to score.

Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson also has bad memories from that loss, and he wasn’t even in Detroit that day. Peterson was in Minnesota watching on television while on the COVID-19 reserve list.

The Lions won when Jared Goff threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown on the final play. Cornerback Cameron Dantzler, who had replaced Peterson in the lineup, was behind Brown, who caught the ball just past the goal line. Later that week, Peterson went on the “All Things Covered” podcast he co-hosts with former NFL cornerback Bryant McFadden and talked about what Dantzler did wrong.

“That was very tough,” Peterson said Thursday of the loss. “I remember it like it was yesterday. I was on my couch watching it. … To watch the ending of that game was just heartbreaking.”

Whether Minnesota took the Lions lightly that day is uncertain. The Vikings had won eight straight games in the series, although they had barely survived 19-17 two months earlier on Greg Joseph’s 54-yard field goal on the final play at U.S. Bank Stadium.

One thing, though, is certain. The Vikings (1-1) won’t be taking the Lions (1-1) lightly on Sunday.

“This is a very, very dangerous football team that we or anybody can’t overlook, so we understand that we have our hands full,” Peterson said.

Kevin-OConnell-Headshot.jpg
The Minnesota Vikings have named Kevin O’Connell as the 10th head coach in franchise history on Feb. 16, 2022 Coming off a Super Bowl LVI victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, O’Connell joins the Vikings after serving as the offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams the past two seasons.
Courtesy / Minnesota Vikings

In addition to beating the Vikings late last season to give first-year head coach Dan Campbell his first NFL victory, Detroit followed that up with late-season victories over two playoff-bound teams, Arizona and Green Bay. This season, Campbell and the Lions have added some key players, most notably rookie edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, taken out of Michigan with the second pick in the draft.

Hutchinson had three of Detroit’s five sacks in last Sunday’s 36-27 win over the Washington Commanders at Ford Field. In the opener, the Lions barely lost at home 38-35 to the Eagles, the team that manhandled the Vikings 24-7 on Monday night in Philadelphia.

ADVERTISEMENT

“They’re a pretty good team,” Jefferson said. “They’re coming in with a lot of fire, a lot of momentum, especially off the last game. So we definitely are prepared for them to come in and try to battle it out with us. I mean, they’ve been fired up this whole year. … They definitely think they’re a team that can come in here and beat us.”

While Hutchinson has been a key factor on an improved defense, the Lions have been even more impressive on offense. De’Andre Swift has rushed for 200 yards in their two games while averaging a staggering 10 yards per carry. Goff, who was up and down in 2021, his first season in Detroit, has thrown six touchdown passes, including four against the Commanders.

“You feel that Dan’s building something special there, and I’ve got a lot of respect for those coaches,” said O’Connell, who had Goff as his quarterback when he was the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive coordinator in 2020. “I know Jared Goff really well. I’ve got a lot of respect for him. … We know it’s going to be a heck of a challenge.”

Since O’Connell wasn’t with Minnesota then, he can’t use last December’s loss as motivation. But the Vikings have plenty of players still around from then who can.

“That was a tough one,” said edge rusher D.J. Wonnum, who sacked Goff earlier in that game but couldn’t generate pressure on the final play. “We took it on the head. Oh, 100 percent we’re going to use it as motivation.”

ADVERTISEMENT

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
What to read next
Pro
Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels and Karl-Anthony Towns are now armed with another year of experience and playoff battle scars upon which they can rely. Add Rudy Gobert to the mix, and the Wolves should match up well with most teams on any given night.
Pro
Edwards called the incident “a wake-up call” that showed him how much weight his words carry. In the past two weeks, he said he’s learned “in the blink of an eye, things can be gone.”
Pro
He didn’t want to come out of Sunday's preseason game when he was hit by the puck, and actually had to be convinced to leave the ice before the final buzzer sounded.
Pro
The only reason Rossi, a 21-year-old center from Austria, was in the position to help on the game-winning play was because star winger Kirill Kaprizov left the game with an injury after taking a puck off his foot.