The Vikings needed a division win on the road, and they got one in a big way at Detroit.
Minnesota scored six touchdowns en route to a 42-30 win that improved the team to 5-2 entering a short week.
In NFL.com’s weekly “What We Learned” roundtable article recapping each game around the league, David Ely praised the Vikings offensive performance against the Lions. He wrote:
Don’t look now, but the Vikings (5-2) are an offensive powerhouse – and a balanced one at that. Kirk Cousins and Co. laid waste to an overmatched Lions defense for [more than] 500 yards and 32 total first downs en route to posting a season-high 42 points.
Ely said that Minnesota “did whatever it wanted to” against Detroit’s defense and pointed out that the Vikings didn’t suffer a drop-off offensively when Adam Thielen left with a hamstring injury following a first-quarter touchdown.
Cousins continued his aerial prowess, tossing TDs to four different [pass-catchers] and connecting with Stefon Diggs (seven catches, 142 yards) for a game-clinching 66-yard bomb after the Lions made it a five-point game late in the fourth quarter. Cousins now has 10 TDs to one interception since his dreadful Week 4 performance against the Bears, and Sunday marked the first time in his career he’s had back-to-back games with 300-plus passing yards and four scores.
Ely continued by highlighting another stellar performance by running back Dalvin Cook and said that when the Vikings play the way they did Sunday, “there is little a defense can do” against them.
SI says Vikings could head into bye ‘in ridiculously good shape’
After starting the season 2-2 with tough road losses to NFC North foes Green Bay and Chicago, the Vikings have now won three straight.
Minnesota will look to extend that streak to four on a short week, as it prepares to host Washington in just three days for Thursday Night Football.
Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated posted a “Week 7 Takeaways” article Monday morning and in it included a section of “Things That Make Me Giddy,” including the Vikings offense. He wrote:
View game action images as the Vikings take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday.
In a shootout win over the Detroit Lions, Cousins chucked four touchdown passes, bringing his three-week total to 10 touchdowns and one interception. Stefon Diggs had another monstrous week, and Mike Zimmer can still enjoy [knowing] that Minnesota put up more than 100 rushing yards. You can have it both ways!
In all seriousness, this performance against a solid Lions defense moves Minnesota’s offense into ‘considerable threat’ territory. They’re 5-2 and have the [1-6] Washington football team and [Chiefs squad who may be without quarterback Patrick Mahomes] coming down the pike. There’s a chance they head into their Week 12 bye week in ridiculously good shape.
Craig’s takeaways include Pro Bowl push for Kendricks
Per usual, the Star Tribune’s Mark Craig posted five observations from the Vikings game, topping the list with Cousins “putting some bang” on his deep shots of 20-plus yards. Craig wrote:
Kirk Cousins completed three of nine passes for 109 yards and a touchdown on balls that traveled 20 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage in Sunday’s 42-30 win over the Lions at Ford Field.
The Lions came in allowing 27 plays of 20 or more yards, sixth worst in the league. Meanwhile, they also were ranked No. 1 in lowest percentage of yards allowed after the catch (.331). Cousins would have completed a fourth deep ball, but Stefon Diggs dropped what would have been an over-the-shoulder grab for a touchdown.
Craig also made the case for Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks to receive his first career Pro Bowl nod “if he keeps up” the way he’s been playing this season.
A week after posting a game-high 10 tackles and a key second-half pass [defended], the Vikings middle linebacker had a game-high 12 tackles and a pass [defended] on fourth-and-2 from the Vikings 41-yard line with 8:52 left in the game. The Vikings turned the short field into a touchdown and a 35-24 lead.
Asked if he’s making his Pro Bowl case loud and clear, Kendricks said, “That’s back-burner stuff. I always try to bring it. That’s my M.O. I try to create havoc.”
Craig’s other takeaways were Cook’s ground-game performance, cornerback Mike Hughes’ stop of Detroit’s 2-point conversion attempt and the Lions fans’ “continued angst” against NFL officiating.