| Detroit Free Press
Debating the effect of Matthew Stafford’s absence, Lions-Vikings picks
Assessing the Matthew Stafford COVID-19 isolation situation ahead of Detroit Lions-Minnesota Vikings, and predicting who wins. Filmed Nov. 6, 2020.
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2:19: Halftime. The Lions trail, 20-10, but the stats aren’t too far off. The Vikings lead in net yards, 243-208. In rushing yards, the Lions actually lead, 94-74. Stafford is 16 of 18 for 114 yards and a touchdown. Cousins is 9 of 11 with 2 touchdowns. The wild stat, mostly because the Lions’ defense is struggling, is time of possession, where the Lions lead: 20:33 to 9:27.
2:16 p.m.: Former Lions running back Ameer Abdullah scored on a 22-yard catch and run to increase the Vikings’ lead to 20-10 with 15 seconds left in the second quarter. The Vikings started their drive with 1:15 left from their 13 after a great stop on kick returner K.J. Osborn by Miles Killebrew. The big play came when Cook beat Collins on a shallow crossing route and gained 29 yards to the Detroit 35.
2:06 p.m.: Marvin Jones scored on a 15-yard catch to cut the Vikings’ lead to 13-10 with 1:19 left. Stafford made a nice pass to rookie Quintez Cephus for 20 yards to get into Minnesota territory, reaching the Vikings’ 43. On third-and-6 from the 26, T.J. Hockenson made a great catch for 11 yards. Stafford’s pass up the middle was tipped by Eric Wilson but Hockenson still managed to catch the wobbler. The eight-play drive covered 72 yards and lasted 3:52.
1:52 p.m.: The Lions’ defense finally got a stop. The Vikings started from their 21 and the Lions almost forced a three-and-out. But on third-and-10 from the 21, Cousins throws a short pass to Cook, who juked Jamie Collins for a 17-yard gain. But on third-and-2 from the Vikings’ 46, Everson Griffen tipped Cousins’ pass to Rudolph that was incomplete. After a punt and 21-yard return by Amendola, the Lions will start from their 28 with 5:11 left in the second quarter.
1:43 p.m.: Prater converts a 23-yard field goal with 8:21 left in the second quarter to cut the Vikings’ lead to 13-3. But it’s another disappointing drive for the Lions, who couldn’t get into the end zone from the 8-yard line on three tries. Stafford’s pass to Swift went for 5 yards and got to the half-yard line. On third-and-goal, Peterson lost 4 yards. The longest play was Stafford’s 12-yard pass to Amendola to the Vikings’ 8. The Lions went 70 yards on 15 plays in 8:05.
1:27 p.m.: Cousins hit Irv Smith with a 9-yard pass for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead with 1:26 left. Dan Bailey missed the extra-point kick. The Vikings started from their 36 and march quickly and easily again. Cousins connected with a wide-open Adam Thielen in the middle of the field on a play-action pass for 30 yards to the Detroit 14. The Vikings went 64 yards on five plays in 2:41.
1:22 p.m.: Matt Prater continues to struggle after he misses wide left from 46 yards with 4:07 left. It’s a disappointing drive that started off well but ended when Stafford was sacked on third-and-5 from the Minnesota 19. The drive started at the Lions’ 25 after Marvin Hall’s 11-yard kickoff return. The Lions avoided a three-and-out when Adrian Peterson showed good vision by making a cut to his left on third-and-1 for a 4-yard gain to the Detroit 38. The Lions got to midfield on Stafford’s 13-yard pass to Danny Amendola. D’Andrew Swift gain 16 yards to the Minnesota 24 on a strong run with patience to run behind his blocks.
1:12 p.m.: The Vikings score on Dalvin Cook’s 5-yard run to take a 7-0 lead with 10:39 left in the first quarter. It’s the first opening drive touchdown the Lions have allowed this season, but boy did it look easy. The Vikings sliced their way through the Lions’ defense like Swiss cheese on a five-play, 67-yard drive that took just 2:32. Dalvin Cook led off with a 13-yard carry up the middle. Kirk Cousins hit Kyle Rudolph for a 22-yard gain and then he hit Justin Jefferson, who beat Okudah deep for a 22-yard gain to the Detroit 5.
1:05 p.m.: The Lions start on offense and go three-and-out after a short pass to Danny Amendola goes for 1 yard on third-and-2. Matthew Stafford, who was cleared off the reserve/COVID-19 list this morning, started off by underthrowing a deep pass to Marvin Hall. Stafford missed the whole week of practice and was limited to virtual meetings. After a Jack Fox punt, the Vikings start from their 33.
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