View game action images as the Vikings take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday.
The Vikings defense has often been the driving force of the team in the Mike Zimmer era.
The normally stingy unit misfired a few times on Sunday, but the offense revved its engine time and time again in a 42-30 win over the Lions in Detroit.
Kirk Cousins completed 24 of 34 passes for 337 yards and passed for four touchdowns for the second consecutive week. His passer rating of 141.4 is his highest in a Vikings uniform.
And the team did it without Adam Thielen for much of the game. Thielen caught a 25-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7 in the first quarter, but he suffered a hamstring injury.
Stefon Diggs and others stepped up. Diggs led the Vikings with seven receptions for 142 yards and helped ice the game with a 66-yard reception.
Kyle Rudolph caught five passes for 58 yards and put the Vikings up 35-24 with 5:40 left in the game. That score was the 400th career reception by Rudolph, which tied him for sixth with Ahmad Rashad on the Vikings all-time career receptions list.
Rookie tight end Irv Smith, Jr., added 60 yards on five catches, and classmate Bisi Johnson chipped in 40 yards on four catches, including the first touchdown of his career.
Fullback C.J. Ham also recorded his first touchdown reception on Minnesota’s opening drive of the second half to break a 21-all tie.
Then there’s Dalvin Cook, who carried the ball 25 times for 142 yards and two scores.
Add it all up, and Minnesota racked up 503 yards on a day when its defense gave up 433 and four touchdown passes between Matthew Stafford and Marvin Jones, Jr.
The Vikings improved to 5-2 on the season by winning their third in a row and will host Washington (1-5) on Thursday.
Q1, 7:43 remaining
Lions 7, Vikings 0
Marvin Jones, Jr., catches a 16-yard pass from Matthew Stafford (Matt Prater kicks PAT) [7 plays, 77 yards, 3:03 time of possession]
Spin cycle: After a short pass, Jones, Jr., executed a spin move to avoid a tackle by Trae Waynes and accelerated quickly.
Q1, 5:14 remaining
Lions 7, Vikings 7
Adam Thielen catches a 25-yard pass from Kirk Cousins (Dan Bailey kicks PAT) [5 plays, 73 yards, 2:20]
Explosives: The Vikings quickly answered thanks to a 15-yard run by Dalvin Cook and a 28-yard pass to Irv Smith, Jr., before the scoring strike. Unfortunately, Thielen hurt his hamstring and did not return.
Q1, 0:13 remaining
Lions 14, Vikings 7
Jones, Jr., catches a 3-yard pass from Stafford (Prater kicks PAT) [9 plays, 75 yards, 5:01]
Lack of pressure: Detroit faced third down just once on the possession and easily converted with a 4-yard pass that gained twice what the Lions needed. Staying ahead of the chains prevented Minnesota from putting pressure on Stafford.
Q2, 12:39 remaining
Lions 14, Vikings 14
Bisi Johnson catches a 1-yard pass from Cousins (Bailey kicks PAT) [8 plays, 61 yards, 2:34]
Convert & capitalize: Diggs converted a third-and-10 with an impressive 27-yard reception, and the Vikings capitalized a play after Lions defensive back Justin Coleman was flagged for pass interference in the end zone. The penalty negated an interception after a tip.
Q2, 3:26 remaining
Vikings 21, Lions 14
Dalvin Cook rushes for an 8-yard touchdown (Bailey kicks PAT) [15 plays, 97 yards, 7:19]
Rudolph times 3: Kyle Rudolph caught three passes for 35 yards on the long drive, including a pair of catches that converted third-and-2 situations.
Q2, 0:02 remaining
Vikings 21, Lions 21
Jones, Jr., catches a 10-yard pass from Stafford (Prater kicks PAT) [11 plays, 75 yards, 3:24]
Problematic penalties: The Vikings committed a pair of roughing the passer twice inside their 25-yard line. The first was by Everson Griffen, changing what would have been a third-and-20 into a first-and-10 at the 12. The second was by Anthony Barr, and it offset a holding penalty by Detroit, causing a replay of third-and-8.
Q3, 9:02 remaining
Vikings 28, Lions 21
C.J. Ham catches a 5-yard pass from Cousins (Bailey kicks PAT) [12 plays, 75 yards, 5:58]
Filling the gap: With Thielen out, the Vikings spread the ball around effectively. Five different players caught a pass, including Ham, who recorded his first career receiving touchdown.
Q3, 3:22 remaining
Vikings 28, Lions 24
Prater kicks a 46-yard field goal (7 plays, 60 yards, 3:01]
Timely sack: Danielle Hunter recorded the first sack of the day by either team one snap after Detroit got a 47-yard pass from Stafford to Marvin Hall.
Q4, 5:40 remaining
Vikings 35, Lions 24
Kyle Rudolph catches a 15-yard pass from Cousins (Bailey kicks PAT) [6 plays, 59 yards, 3:12]
Seizing momentum: Minnesota followed a key stop on fourth-and-2 via a pass breakup by Eric Kendricks with a quick 10-yard pass to Smith, Jr., and Cook gained 23 on a toss on third-and-1.
Q4, 3:05 remaining
Vikings 35, Lions 30
Jones, Jr., catches a 10-yard pass from Stafford (conversion pass fails) [10 plays, 75 yards, 2:35]
He had a good day: Jones, Jr., was able to beat coverage by Xavier Rhodes, for his fourth score. He finished with 10 receptions and 93 yards.
Q4, 1:55 remaining
Vikings 42, Lions 30
Cook rushes for a 4-yard touchdown (Bailey kicks PAT) [4 plays, 75 yards, 1:10]
Diggs deep: With the Lions selling out to stop the run, the Vikings implemented a play-action fake before Cousins dropped a 66-yard pass to Diggs, who beat 1-on-1 coverage.