As millions of Americans celebrated and laughed with their families on Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, the Minnesota Vikings’ experience this year was not so enthusiastic as they lost to the Detroit Lions for the second time in their last four games by a score of 16-13. The win gave the Lions a sweep of the season series between the two teams for the second time in the last three years.
The game remained close all day long and costly turnover by Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford late in the fourth quarter proved to be all Detroit needed to get a victory. After Lions cornerback Darius Slay intercepted a Bradford pass with less than 40 seconds remaining in the game, Detroit kicker Matt Prater hit an easy 40-yard field goal to give the Lions a win as time expired.
The outcome of this game was eerily similar to how the first matchup ended between these two teams just three weeks ago. In both games, the Vikings were leading until Detroit’s final two offensive drives of the game in which the Lions were able to tie the score and then eventually win the game on their final offensive possession.
Besides the interception, Bradford had himself a pretty decent day. He finished Thursday having completed 31 of his 37 passes for 224 yards. However, he did fail to throw a touchdown for the first time in his 10 career starts as a member of Minnesota’s roster.
Running back Jerick McKinnon led the Vikings in rushing on Thursday with a measly 31 yards on nine carries. Minnesota is in dire need for all-pro running back Adrian Peterson to return to the lineup sooner than later.
Vikings tight Kyle Rudolph was Bradford’s go-to guy all day long as the pass catcher finished the game against the Lions with a season-high nine catches for 64 yards. Wide receiver Adam Thielen also contributed to the offense on Thursday with eight receptions for 53 yards.
Minnesota’s best player on Thursday could have arguably been punter Jeff Locke. In his fourth season with the Vikings, Locke averaged almost 50 yards per punt against Detroit and pinned the Lions inside their own 20-yard line on three of his four kicks.
With the loss, Minnesota is now 6-5 on the year and sitting at second place in the NFC North. They get a full week off before they have to face a talented Dallas Cowboys team in a game next Thursday night that could basically make or break their season.