Lions Fall in Thanksgiving Rematch; Lose First Turkey Day Game Since 2012
For the first time under Jim Caldwell the Detroit Lions lost on Thanksgiving day, falling to the Minnesota Vikings 30-23.
The loss breaks a streak of four straight wins on turkey day. Their last loss was against the Texans in overtime in 2012.
Detroit made some big plays in this game, their special teams unit blocked two kicks in the first half (one extra point and a field goal) however their defense could not force a turnover (Lions offense gave up two) and the offense had two different surefire touchdowns missed that could have easily been the difference in this ball game.
In the second quarter, Matthew Stafford looked at an all-out blitz from the Vikings and tossed a screen to Theo Riddick and even though it was off of his back foot it made it close to the running back and if he were able to secure it, he could have walked the remaining 15 yards into the end zone.
In the fourth quarter with the Lions down seven, Stafford missed Golden Tate on a seam route up the middle of the field with the safety beat by a step on third down. Stafford would throw an interception on fourth down that would be taken inside the Lions 20 with about three minutes to go. That was the dagger into the Lions hearts.
Stafford's final line was 20/35 for 250 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Marvin Jones Jr. caught six of those passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns including an impressive catch in double coverage that saw him score in the second half.
There was still some hope despite that late pick from Stafford. Forcing the Vikings into a fourth down situation and having already blocked two kicks this game Darius Slay jumped the snap and blocked Kai Forbath's field goal attempt and it was taken to the house. The only problem was Slay got too good of a head start. Offsides against Detroit on 4th and 1 gave Minnesota a first down and they took knees to win the game.
The loss from Detroit now puts them three games back of Minnesota for the NFC North lead with five games to go and the season series being split. Detroit at 6-5 is still on the outside of the playoff picture looking in as it stands right now. The Lions now have a long week before they hit the road to take on Baltimore.