The Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings currently sit at the bottom of the NFC North. While that may not exactly be unexpected for the Lions—seeing as their at the beginning of a rebuild—it’s still not a great look to be winless through four games, with two of those losses as the hand of NFC North foes. It may be worse for the Vikings, though. While their performance thus far warrants a a better record than their current 1-3 mark shows, you are what your record is.
The good news for the Vikings is that they’ve yet to open divisional games, and starting with the Detroit Lions is a good place to start. Minnesota has won seven straight in this series, dating all the way back to 2017—the Jim Caldwell years.
Can Lions head coach Dan Campbell do what Matt Patricia never did and beat the Vikings on his very first try? We’ll be providing live updates as the Lions take on the Vikings in Week 5 of the NFL’s 2021 season.
The Vikings won the toss and deferred, giving the Lions offense the opportunity to strike first. Detroit was able to drive nicely thanks to a couple of good plays to D’Andre Swift including a 10-yard screen and a 12-yard run. The Lions stalled in field goal range, however, after Patrick Peterson knocked down at Jared Goff pass attempt on a third-and-9. The Lions settled for a 39-yard field from Austin Seibert, fresh of the reserve/COVID-19 list. 3-0 Lions
The Lions defense got an early shot to get off the field for a three-and-out, but Kirk Cousins connected with Justin Jefferson for a 37-yard bomb with Amani Oruwariye in tight coverage. Two plays later, Detroit forced a third-and-12, but Jefferson again bailed the Vikings out with a 14-yard catch. The Lions finally got off the field when a third-down pass from Cousins skipped off the ground, but the Vikings tied things up with a 38-yard field goal. 3-3 tie.
Thanks to a Danielle Hunter penalty, the Lions avoided a three-and-out on offense. A couple of good run plays moved the Lions to Vikings territory, and a smart wide receiver screen to Amon-Ra St. Brown picked up an easy third-and-5 conversion. But, again, the Lions hit a snag on the Vikings side of the field. Goff took back-to-back sacks and on the second one, he fumbled it away to the Vikings.
The Vikings continued their third-down success on their second drive of the game. Jefferson beat Oruwariye for a 17-yard gain on third-and-10, setting Minnesota up in field goal position. A holding penalty forced them into another third-and-long (12), and the Lions defense got the stop this time. The Vikings would take the lead with a 38-yard field goal. 6-3 Vikings.