The Minnesota Vikings couldn’t come up with a victory when they needed one the most. Here are the winners and losers of their match-up with the Detroit Lions.
After a win that snapped a 4-game losing streak for the Minnesota Vikings, they slip up again. With a chance to regain the top spot in the NFC North, the Vikings fall short to the Detroit Lions by a score of 16-13. This is the second loss to the Lions in the month of November.
Minnesota showed a lot of life in the second half, especially defensively. The defense only allowed 6 points in the second half, it just so happens that 3 of those were from a game-winning field goal.
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With under one minute left in the game, Vikings’ quarterback Sam Bradford threw an interception into the hands of Darius Slay deep in Vikings’ territory to set up the Lions for a game-winning field goal. The Vikings now slip to 2nd in the division, one game behind the Detroit Lions.
With that being said, let’s jump right in. Here are the winners and losers from the Thanksgiving Day game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions.
Nov 24, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions outside linebacker Brandon Copeland (51) and Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) compete during the game on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Rudolph – WINNER
Over the last few weeks, Kyle Rudolph hasn’t made his presence known in the receiving category. One of the top red zone threats in all of the NFL seemingly disappeared as a target for Sam Bradford. This all changed in the Week 12 match-up against the Lions.
Kyle Rudolph finished the game with 9 catches for 64 yards.
Sam Bradford enjoyed his success when passing the ball to Rudolph during the Thanksgiving day game. Rudolph created separation in the middle of the field and Bradford was able to be accurate enough to get the ball to him.
The Vikings need Rudolph to continue to find success for them to make a playoff push. If you look at the teams at the top of the playoff hunt, each of them have a solid tight end. Solid tight ends help to relieve some of the pressure off the quarterback by knowing they have a big target they can find if no receiver is open. Let’s hope Rudolph can continue his success from this game.
Nov 24, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) gets up after a big hit during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Bradford – LOSER
It’s funny how one mistake can cast a shadow over a good game. That’s exactly what happened for Sam Bradford against the Detroit Lions. After managing the game very nicely, Bradford threw an interception that ended up costing the Vikings the game on Thanksgiving.
Sam Bradford finished the game 31-37, 224 yards and 1 interception.
Bradford managed the game very well all day against the Lions, moving the ball up and down the field efficiently. With a chance to win the game with under a minute left, Sam Bradford made us all forget the success he found in the first 58 minutes of the game by throwing an interception that led to the game-winning field goal for the Lions.
If the Vikings want to find success in the later part of the season, they need the kind of game management Sam Bradford showed through 58 minutes of the Thanksgiving Day game. What they don’t need is for him to crumble under pressure. Let’s hope, if another game comes down to the final drive, Bradford doesn’t make another costly mistake like he did against Detroit.
Sep 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Packers 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Barr – WINNER
One of the Vikings’ young and up-coming stars is Anthony Barr. He showed why on Thanksgiving with another great game. Barr was great in helping to stop the run and put a lot of pressure on Matthew Stafford.
Anthony Barr finished the game with 4 tackles and a sack.
A lot of the Vikings’ second half success defensively can be credited to Anthony Barr. He was swarming the run plays and putting constant pressure on Matthew Stafford. His combination of speed and strength caused a lot of issues for the Lions’ offensive line.
The Vikings’ defense is led by Anthony Barr and Harrison Smith. Even though they lost to Detroit on Thanksgiving, the defense cannot be blamed. If the Vikings want to continue their success defensively, Anthony Barr needs to continue being an unstoppable force.
Aug 28, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (11) during a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Chargers 23-10. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Laquon Treadwell – LOSER
Treadwell finally got his chance on Thanksgiving Day, and he was unable to produce. He has not seen the field very often this season, and when finally getting a chance, many thought he would strive. He did the opposite.
Only targeted twice, Treadwell finished the game with no catches and two drops.
One of the drops by Treadwell was almost extremely costly for the Vikings. He bobbled a pass from Sam Bradford into the air and into a Lions’ defenders arms for an interception that was returned almost for a touchdown. If not for a penalty, this would have been a dagger for the Vikings.
If the Vikings want to find success, they need to be able to have some big plays. They didn’t have any of those on Thanksgiving Day against the Lions. Many thought Laquon Treadwell would be able to help the Vikes produce big plays, but it looks like he is just not NFL ready right now.
After a tough loss against the Detroit Lions, the Vikings must turn around and play the Cowboys at home on December 1. The Vikings need a victory to avoid dropping to a .500 record and losing a grip on the playoff race. Getting a victory against the 10-1 Dallas Cowboys will be very difficult, though.
The Minnesota Vikings need to be able to cause turnovers and produce some kind of offense if they want to stand a chance against the NFL’s top team. It will help to have a sea of purple during the Vikings’ home game, though.