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3 Stats That Stood Out: Vikings at Lions

The Vikings defeated the Lions 27-9 on Sunday thanks to a rally late in the first half that was highlighted by an improbable conversion and capped with a 44-yard touchdown on a pass from Kirk Cousins to Kyle Rudolph just in time for the holidays.

The "Hail Rudy" was part of a dazzling day for Rudolph, who finished with a career-high 122 yards and two touchdowns in Kevin Stefanski's second game as interim offensive coordinator.

The Vikings offense started slowly, but the defense kept the score within reach before establishing dominance in the second half, stamping and stomping the Lions.

Here are three stats that stood out.

1. 169 of 174 yards on final two drives in first half

It had been a quiet first half, to say the least.

Backed deep in its own territory throughout the first half, including starting its first possession at its own 2, Minnesota gained five yards on its first four possessions.

A 30-yard kickoff return by Ameer Abdullah gave a little boost to the Vikings fifth possession. Starting at their own 31, Cousins was able to hit Dalvin Cook on a short throw for a 29-yard gain that was reduced slightly by a holding call. The Vikings advanced into Lions territory two plays later before another holding penalty.

Minnesota converted a third-and-17 when Cousins found Adam Thielen for a gain of 40, and the Vikings scored two plays later with 1:32 remaining in the first half.

The Vikings defense was able to give the ball back to the offense with 36 seconds remaining, and Minnesota made Detroit pay on the final play of the first half with the deep heave to Rudolph.

All told, the Vikings gained 169 of their 174 yards in the first half on the final two possessions.

2. Five yards allowed in third quarter

Complementary football had a little bit of a different vibe Sunday.

The Vikings defense was able to limit the Lions to just three field goals in the first half while the offense was finding its footing.

After halftime, Minnesota's defense rode the wave of momentum from the offense and allowed just five yards in the third quarter.

Detroit had the ball for just 3:26 of the third quarter.

Opponents have averaged just 3.53 points in third quarters against the Vikings this season.

3. 5 plays in Minnesota territory in second half

The Lions ran just five plays on Minnesota's half of the 50-yard line in the second half.

If not for a 2-minute drive led by former Vikings QB Matt Cassel, who stepped in to relieve Matthew Stafford, that number would have been zero.

It's hard to allow an opponent, especially one missing weapons at running back and receiver, back into the game if you don't allow them to move the ball or surrender field position with a turnover.

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