Diggs, Bridgewater lead Vikings to 28-19 win over Lions
DETROIT (AP) Stefon Diggs raced past a Detroit defensive back and into the clear. Teddy Bridgewater’s long pass was slightly overthrown, so Diggs leaped forward from about the 4-yard line, sailed gracefully through the air and pulled the ball in with his outstretched hands, landing in the end zone for a touchdown.
”It definitely feels good as far as getting in the end zone, but the better thing is Teddy was back there spinning it,” Diggs said. ”He let it go for me.”
Behind Bridgewater, Diggs and a relentless pass rush, the Minnesota Vikings rallied to beat the Detroit Lions 28-19 on Sunday. Minnesota trailed 14-3 early but shut down the Lions after that. Bridgewater threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns.
Diggs caught six passes for 108 yards, including that diving 36-yard TD that put the Vikings ahead 22-17 in the third quarter.
The Lions (1-6) trailed 28-17 in the final minutes and drove all the way to the Minnesota 1. They looked poised to score a touchdown before the 2-minute warning, and with two timeouts remaining, they had a decent chance to get the ball back.
But two runs went nowhere, and Matthew Stafford threw incomplete on fourth down. The Vikings (4-2) then took an intentional safety to avoid having to punt from their own end zone.
”We just haven’t been able to sustain consistent play with one unit or the next,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. ”We’ll do some things very, very well for an extended period of time. All it takes is about five minutes in this league to turn things around. That’s what’s happening to us.”
Here are a few things we learned from the Vikings’ victory over the Lions:
HEALTHY ENOUGH: Adrian Peterson looked fine after his status for the game was in doubt because of an illness. He ran for 98 yards on 19 carries, including a 75-yard run up the right sideline in the third quarter.
The Lions paid quite a bit of attention to him, which opened up opportunities for Bridgewater in the passing game.
A STEP BACK: The Lions were coming off their first win of the season, but their offense still lacks consistency. Detroit scored two quick touchdowns in this one, but managed only 8 yards of offense in the second quarter and minus-1 in the third. Caldwell said his team was ”inept” for stretches.
PROTECTION PROBLEMS: Detroit still has major problems on its offensive line. Stafford was sacked seven times, and the Lions looked utterly lost when confronted with Minnesota’s rush.
LONG DISTANCE: Blair Walsh missed an extra point in the second quarter, but he connected on all five of his field goal attempts, including kicks of 53 and 51 yards.
ON THE ROAD: This was a significant win for the Vikings because it was their first on the road against an NFC North opponent since winning at Detroit on Sept. 30, 2012. Before Sunday, Minnesota was 1-15-1 in its previous 17 road games within the division.
”It’s all about how you play, not where you play,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said.
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