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Lunchbreak: Vikings Extend 'Streak of No Losing Streaks'

The Vikings haven't lost back-to-back games since December 2018, when they dropped two consecutive at New England (Dec. 2) and at Seattle (Dec. 10).

Mark Craig of the Star Tribune highlighted the stat as part of his "Extra Points" article posted the day after games. Craig wrote:

They haven't had a losing streak that includes a loss at home in 48 games going back to Week 16 of the 2016 season. "I think," said defensive end Stephen Weatherly, "that [Head Coach Mike Zimmer] being very levelheaded has a lot to do with that. I feel like if your coach is an emotional roller coaster, your team is going to follow and be an emotional roller coaster. For me, personally, I love that there's an even-keel. For [Zimmer], the sky's not always falling, but things aren't all sunshine and rainbows, either. There's real-world truth, and he's not afraid to tell us how it is and just focus on the next game."

As for Craig's other takeaways, he recapped Kirk Cousins' explanation of the Garrett Bradbury "reception," highlighted rookie Alexander Mattison's hurdle of a defender and Detroit's injury woes on defense.

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Craig also spotlighted Weatherly's performance in the run game.

The Lions had 12 possessions. Seven ended in punts, including five three-and-outs. Danielle Hunter, the star of the game, forced three punts with first-half sacks on third-and-10, third-and-7 and third-and-2. But Weatherly also had a key third-down stop that you wouldn't expect from a backup end who's typically used as a situational inside pass rusher on third-and-long.

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The Vikings were leading 7-0 when the Lions faced third-and-1 from the Detroit 22. Weatherly sliced off the left side and dropped running back Bo Scarbrough for a 1-yard loss and another three-and-out.

Craig quoted Linval Joseph, who said that Weatherly is "becoming a heck of a player, a complete player" in year four.

"[Weatherly] has ability to make plays on that edge, especially against the run," Joseph said. "I don't know if he just knows what the call is or he's just a natural at it, but he can come under the blocks and make things happen."

View game action images as the Vikings take on the Detroit Lions during Week 14 at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

Vikings receive 'B' grade for defeat of Lions

The Vikings victory over the Lions on Sunday wasn't perfect, but it was efficient and got the job done.

Fullback C.J. Ham was asked after the game if it felt like more points should have been put up against a struggling Detroit team.

"A win is a win. It's the NFL," Ham said. "No matter who you're playing, no matter what the record is, it's hard to blow out a team in the NFL. That's a respectable team out there – their record really doesn't show that. They have a good defense.

"It doesn't matter how many points we have to score to win; we just want to win," Ham added.

Minnesota was given a B grade by John Breech of CBS Sports, who said the deficit should have been larger between the NFC North teams but acknowledged that the Vikings got things done. Breech wrote:

Against the Lions they should've been able to do a whole lot more. Penalties and play-calling allowed Detroit, even if superficially, to hang around for a while. Still, they flashed exactly what makes them a contender – ultra-efficient QB play, a solid ground game, a balanced receiving corps and a pass rush capable of big plays. It wasn't pretty, but Sunday's game was enough of a success to boost their confidence moving forward.

The Lions, meanwhile, received a C-minus.

The Lions can't be given a failing grade for staying within 13 points of the Vikings and, for a while, looking as if they might keep it a one-score game. But pretty much everything else was uninspiring. David Blough doesn't deserve blame for this season, but his confidence was outmatched by his inexperience Sunday, while Detroit's unreliable ground game – and dependence on it – did him no favors.

Minnesota once again hosts 'sack party' for Detroit

Last season, the Vikings sacked Lions QB Matthew Stafford a staggering 10 times at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Detroit's rookie quarterback David Blough didn't meet quite the same fate, but he still was sacked five times by Minnesota's defense, including a hat trick by Danielle Hunter that helped him re-write the record books.

NFL.com's Andie Hagemann covered the Vikings-Lions matchup for the website's "What We Learned" day-after roundtable and highlighted the takedowns. She wrote:

It was a sack party in Minneapolis Sunday as the Vikings defense took down Blough five times. In addition to sweeping the series, Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter made history by becoming the youngest player in NFL history to reach 50.0 career sacks – a record previously held by Robert Quinn. The 25-year-old accounted for three of the five sacks on the day. Everson Griffen and Jaleel Johnson both jumped in on the action, too, taking advantage of a porous Lions offensive line and inexperience signal-caller.

Hagemann also wrote about the Vikings resiliency coming off a tough loss to Seattle on Monday night.

Short rest? No problem. The Vikings bounced back after [the] loss, blowing out the lowly Lions at home. It was an affair that had the Vikings mascot, Viktor, whipping off his mustache in celebration. The Vikings struck first on a Kirk Cousins nine-yard pass to 2019 seventh-round pick Bisi Johnson Cousins, still without Adam Thielen due to a hamstring injury, connected with Stefon Diggs on six receptions for 92 yards and a committee of fellow pass catchers in their balanced offensive attack. Dalvin Cook, who exited last week's contest early due to injury, rushed for 62 yards on 18 carries.

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