Lions Stun the Vikings in Overtime, Minnesota Winless Since Bye Week
Nov 09 2016 by Marjorie Miles
Maybe because he has had plenty of practice.
In overtime, the Lions won the coin toss and marched down the field on an 11 play, 6:39 drive that ended in a 28-yard Stafford to Tate highlight reel touchdown. "But our guys have been able to do it". Minnesota launched another drive on their next possession, but Walker and Tahir Whitehead teamed up to stuff running back Matt Asiata on fourth and one inside the Lions' five-yard line and the Vikings once again came away with no points.
"They don't send me out to attempt field goals", Prater said after the game. "If we see some that are a little precarious and a little tough. we'll say, 'Hey, I'm going to use that one for our mock this particular week.' We take those real-life examples and utilize those to try to test our team".
Stafford finished the day 23-of-36 for 219 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Quarterback Sam Bradford completed 31 of 40 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown. Diggs caught 13 passes on 14 targets for 80 yards, but he couldn't find a way to spring loose and get in the end zone.
First, Walsh missed the extra point on Minnesota's first touchdown, clanking it off the right upright - his league-leading third conversion miss of the season. Having a field goal attempt blocked later in the game, lead to the Lions extending their lead to four.
Overcoming late game deficits week after week is a lot to ask of a quarterback, but no player seems more comfortable with the game on the line than Stafford. Thanks to more of his late game heroics, the Lions are 5-4 and right in the race in the NFC North.
After falling behind 16-13 on Sunday when Minnesota scored a touchdown with 23 seconds left, the Lions took over at their own 25. With no timeouts, Stafford completed two passes for 35 yards-including a 27-yard strike to Andre Roberts-before spiking the football and stopping the clock with two seconds left.
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The remaining personnel is a little better suited to put pressure on quarterbacks, and needs consistent safety support from T.J. Gordon's only touchdown of the game was the game-winner, as he drove in from one-yard out to give the Bolts the lead for good.
In overtime, Stafford hit tight end Eric Ebron for 17 yards on third and 3, receiver Marvin Jones drew a pass interference call on ex-FSU star Rhodes and Tate polished it off with a hard-nosed catch-and-run, getting hit by safety Andrew Sendejo as he leaped into the end zone.
"That is ideal execution from everybody", said Tate, who ended up scoring the winning touchdown in overtime.
"And that kind of resonated on me since yesterday and I just thought in my head, 'I want to be that guy that everybody's watching.' I want to be that leader that makes a play and I just prayed for an opportunity". The measure was polling well short of the two-thirds super-majority needed to pass. Mariota, who led the Titans to a 21-19 lead by guiding quick scoring drives on both sides of halftime, helped the Chargers surge to a 12-point lead when he fumbled late in the third quarter.
Every second counts, and the Lions made better use of the final seconds of the fourth quarter than the Vikings did.
According to Fox Sports, it was the first time a team had to punt after being inside the opponent's 20-yard line since St. Louis did against Washington in 2011.
The Vikings need to decide if Blair Walsh can handle the pressure of his job. But the struggles returned on Sunday. "It's nice to get it called and executed the way we did". Somewhere former offensive coordinator Norv Turner is sighing (I will leave up to you if that is a sigh of relief or disgust). I expect to make every kick. Do I have to? Yes. I want to be there for my team, of course I do.
Also, you can't discount what Stafford means to this team. Detroit was without starting CB Darius Slay, LB DeAndre Levy and RT Riley Reiff.
Vikings: CB Captain Munnerlyn was in and out of the game while dealing with injuries to his right knee and ankle. "I don't pay too much attention to it".