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Vikings D sacks Matthew Stafford 7 times

View game action images from Sunday as the Vikings took on the Lions at Ford Field.

The Vikings defense turned the Lions attempt to create a shootout in the first quarter into a shutout in the second half.

Minnesota allowed Detroit to have touchdown drives of 75 and 80 yards to open the game, that were fueled respectively by a 46-yard catch by Calvin Johnson and a 55-yard reception by Eric Ebron.  

Detroit effectively covered up Johnson with a formation, allowing him to cruise through the defense, and brought Ebron around the backside of the play on the long gains. Johnson ended the first possession with a 1-yard catch, and Ebron scored from 7 yards out on the second drive.

Matthew Stafford opened by completing his first seven passes for 128 yards and the two scores before Chad Greenway sacked the Lions QB, starting a spree that reached 7.0 total sacks and 13 quarterback hurries (press box tally). Minnesota entered the game with 10 sacks in its first five games.

"They had some rhythm in their first 15, their scripted plays," Greenway said. "They got us on a couple of sneaky ones that got by us, and we were able to adjust."

The Vikings (4-2) pressured Stafford the following play with Eric Kendricks recording a hit on an incomplete pass. Stafford was 2-of-6 for nine yards the rest of the first half after the Greenway sack.

It was a necessary shift of momentum in Motown for Minnesota, which swept Detroit (1-6) for the first time since 2012. The Lions took over the next possession at the Vikings 42-yard line but lost 12 yards on a sack by Everson Griffen and settled for a 52-yard field goal for a 17-6 lead.

"Once one person makes a play, everyone's eager to make another play but stay within the defense and do our job," Kendricks said. "We got hit in the mouth. A sign of a good team is how you respond."

The Vikings answered with 22 unanswered points, building a 28-17 lead that included a 16-point surge that started inside the final two minutes of the first half with a short TD catch by Kyle Rudolph. Blair Walsh hit one of the five field goals he made to end the opening half, and rookie Stefon Diggs capped the Vikings first possession of the second half with a dazzling 36-yard TD.

The only points of the second half for Detroit occurred when Minnesota opted to take a safety instead of punting from its own end zone. The decision followed Minnesota making a goal line stand with three straight stops on plays the Lions ran from the Vikings 1-yard line.

On the press box tally, Kendricks led the Vikings with 2.0 sacks, followed by Griffen (1.5), one each by Greenway, Tom Johnson and Harrison Smith. Anthony Barr was credited with 0.5 sacks.

"That's what we're supposed to do," said Griffen, who returned to the lineup after missing Week 6 because of illness. "We're supposed to get back to the quarterback, we're supposed to hit him, and we just played good team ball all around. Special teams played great, offense played well and the defense, we've just got to come out a little bit faster and don't let them get the lead that quickly. But we bounced back and we got the W."

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