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Late Lead Slips Away In Loss To Lions

View images from the week 15 matchup at Ford Field between the Vikings and Lions.

The Vikings showed improvements in their second matchup of the season against the Lions, but suffered a 16-14 loss at Ford Field Sunday.

Detroit's Matt Prater kicked a 33-yard field goal to give the Lions their first lead of the game with 3:38 left, and Minnesota was unable to answer.

Cordarrelle Patterson returned the ensuing kickoff 51 yards to give the Vikings (6-8) the ball at their own 49, but a holding call on first down led to that possession's demise. It ended on an incomplete pass on fourth-and-4. Minnesota's defense got the offense the ball back at its own 30 with 45 seconds remaining, but no timeouts.

The Vikings made it to midfield with one second left and attempted a 68-yard field goal by Blair Walsh, which would have trumped Prater's NFL record 64-yarder, but it was to the left of the goal line and shy of the mark. Walsh also missed from 53 yards on Minnesota's opening possession, and had a 26-yarder blocked by Detroit's Jason Jones. 

Vikings rookie Teddy Bridgewater led two touchdown drives but also threw two interceptions that led to 10 points for the Lions in the first half. He finished 31-of-41 passing for 315 yards and a passer rating of 84.9.  

The Vikings claimed the first lead of the game with a 10-play, 84-yard drive that lasted 5:09 of the first quarter. Matt Asiata plowed into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown, his seventh scoring run of the season.

Asiata bulldozed through a hole created by left guard Vladimir Ducasse, left tackle Matt Kalil, fullback Jerome Felton and reserve tackle Austin Wentworth, who entered the game as an extra blocker in the short-yardage situation.

Bridgewater was 6-of-7 passing for 70 yards on the drive that began with a 20-yard catch-and-run by Charles Johnson and continued with a remarkable catch by Jennings along the sideline. The veteran adjusted and came back for the ball, grabbing it just below his knees and dragging his feet in bounds. Detroit challenged the ruling, but it was confirmed by officials after video review.

The Vikings struck more quickly on their next possession, thanks to a 40-yard catch-and-run by Charles Johnson to move Minnesota into Detroit territory in two plays. Bridgewater capped the drive with consecutive completions to Jennings for 9 and 8 yards, with the latter being a touchdown. Jennings lined up to Bridgewater's left in the slot, the quarterback faked a handoff to Asiata and made a nice toss to Jennings, who ran to the quarterback's right and found plenty of space.

Bridgewater, however, suffered interceptions on consecutive passes with less than five minutes remaining in the first half. Glover Quin nabbed Bridgewater for the second time this season and returned the ball 56 yards to the Minnesota 11. Matthew Stafford found Golden Tate for a 7-yard touchdown two plays later.

Another two plays later, Darius Slay intercepted an errant pass to give Detroit (10-4) the ball at the Minnesota 32-yard line, and the Lions kicked a 29-yard field goal by Prater as the first half expired.

A 30-yard field goal by Prater accounted for the only points in the third quarter.

The Vikings defense was missing starters defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, linebacker Anthony Barr and safety Robert Blanton because of injuries.

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