Game Photos: Vikings-Lions
View game action images as the Vikings take on the Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings downed the Lions 24-9 on Sunday with a smothering performance on the way to setting a franchise record with 10 sacks in one game.
Danielle Hunter led the way with a career-best 3.5, and Tom Johnson also set a career high with 2.5 sacks. Everson Griffen had 1.5 and looked highly effective in his second game back since Week 2.
Hunter effectively put the game away with a 32-yard return of a fumble for a touchdown to give the Vikings a 24-6 lead with just under seven minutes remaining.
Detroit (3-5) lightly padded its passing stats late during a 17-play drive that covered 69 yards, but the Lions were again forced to settle a field goal, going 0-for-3 in the red zone on the day.
The Vikings offense scored on the opening drive of the game when Latavius Murray reaching the ball across the goal line on a 1-yard rush.
Minnesota never trailed and answered a field goal by Detroit that made it 7-6 in the second quarter with a touchdown and field goal before halftime.
With Stefon Diggs out of the lineup, the Lions opted to blanket Adam Thielen with frequent double teams. Thielen finished with four catches for 22 yards and a 2-yard touchdown that made it 14-6 in the second quarter.
His streak of eight consecutive games with 100 or more receiving yards was halted, but multiple receivers stepped up.
Laquon Treadwell, Chad Beebe and Aldrick Robinson had two receptions each, as did tight end Kyle Rudolph.
Kirk Cousins finished 18-of-22 passing for 164 yards and a rating of 93.9.
The Vikings rushed for 128 yards, getting 89 from Dalvin Cook on 10 carries and 31 on 10 rushes by Murray.
Minnesota’s special teams were particularly effective throughout the game, and the Vikings defense increased is dominance as the game went on.
Detroit finished 4-for-15 on third downs and with 214 net yards, just 3.1 per play.
Minnesota was 3-for-8 on third downs and with 283 net yards, but averaged 6.2 per play.
The Vikings led 17-6 at halftime.
Minnesota racked up 106 rushing yards on 11 carries for an average of 9.6 yards per carry, which was inflated by Dalvin Cook’s career-long 70-yard scamper on Minnesota’s second touchdown drive.
The Vikings limited the Lions to 111 net yards off offense and held Matthew Stafford to 88 yards (a season low in a first half).
Cousins was 10-of-12 passing for 94 yards with a touchdown and interception for a rating of 92.4 in the first half.
Stafford was 10-of-16 passing for 88 yards and sacked four times for combined losses of 21 yards. He had a rating of 77.1.
The Vikings head into their bye week with a 5-3-1 record.
Rookie Chad Beebe had three receptions for 21 yards in his NFL debut. Laquon Treadwell and Aldrick Robinson had two receptions each, as did tight end Kyle Rudolph.
Hunter’s 32-yard fumble return touchdown was his third career fumble recovery and second touchdown on a fumble recovery. He also set a career high with 2.5 sacks.
Q1, 9:53 remaining
Vikings 7, Lions 0
Latavius Murray rushes for a 1-yard touchdown (Dan Bailey PAT) [9 plays, 65 yards, 5:07 time of possession]
Risk rewarded: The Vikings went for it on fourth-and-2 and converted with a 13-yard gain on a pass from Kirk Cousins to rookie Chad Beebe. It was the second reception by Beebe on consecutive plays in his NFL debut. Minnesota followed with a 16-yard pass to Murray and runs of 6 and 1.
Q2, 13:16 remaining
Vikings 7, Lions 3
Matt Prater kicks a 35-yard field goal [15 plays, 48 yards, 8:16]
Sack stymies drive: After the Lions converted a pair of third downs, Minnesota’s front four was able to get home and sack Matthew Stafford on third-and-goal from the 8 to force a field goal.
Q2, 4:45 remaining
Vikings 7, Lions 6
Prater kicks a 35-yard field goal [10 plays, 28 yards, 5:44]
Could have been worse: The Lions began the drive at the Minnesota 44 after a 21-yard interception return by Darius Slay, who was tackled by Kyle Rudolph. Detroit advanced to the 12, but the Vikings got consecutive sacks (one split by Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen; one solo by Hunter) on second and third down to force the field goal.
Q2, 3:20 remaining
Vikings 14, Lions 6
Adam Thielen catches a 2-yard touchdown pass from Cousins (Bailey PAT) [3 plays, 75 yards, 1:25]
Home cookin’: In his first game since Week 4, Cook broke free for 70 yards on the first play of the drive. Right guard Mike Remmers and right tackle Brian O’Neill helped create a massive opening at the line of scrimmage, and Remmers made it to the second level to help Cook hit his stride.
Q2, 0:04 remaining
Vikings 17, Lions 6
Bailey kicks a 39-yard field goal [5 plays, 31 yards, 0:35]
Special boost: The drive was set up by Marcus Sherels’ 24-yard punt return to the Minnesota 48. The Vikings followed with a 22-yard completion from Cousins to Laquon Treadwell to move within field goal range on the following play.
Q4, 6:57 remaining
Vikings 24, Lions 6
Danielle Hunter returns a fumble 32 yards for a touchdown (Bailey PAT)
Scoop and score: Hunter picked up the football and nice blocks, including a final one by Eric Kendricks, to reach the end zone untouched.
Q4, 1:11 remaining
Vikings 24, Lions 9
Prater kicks a 37-yard field goal [17 plays, 69 yards, 5:46]
Milking the clock: Up by 18, the Vikings were content to let the Lions slow-play their way down the field.