Matt Prater’s 40-yard field goal on the final play gave the Detroit Lions a 16-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings and sole possession of first place in the NFC North on Thanksgiving Day at Ford Field.
Prater’s game-winning kick completed another late comeback for the Lions (7-4), who have trailed in the fourth quarter in all of their victories. Darius Slay’s interception of a Sam Bradford pass set up the game-winner.
Matthew Stafford completed 23 of 40 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown, and Anquan Boldin caught seven passes for 69 yards and a score for Detroit.
Minnesota (6-5) played without its leading receiver, Stefon Diggs, who was inactive with a knee injury. Diggs caught 13 passes in the first meeting with the Lions.
Without him, the Vikings relied on a short passing game. Bradford completed 31 of 37 passes for 224 yards. Tight end Kyle Rudolph caught nine passes for 64 yards and Adam Thielen gathered in eight passes for 53 yards.
Slay stepped in front of Thielen on a third-and-7 situation and intercepted Bradford’s pass at the 33. Slay returned it to the 20-yard line.
An illegal formation penalty had wiped out an apparent Vikings first down pass to Jerick McKinnon on the previous play.
Vikings kicker Kai Forbath’s 30-yard field goal tied the game at 10-all with 7:03 remaining in the third quarter. Bradford’s 41-yard pass to McKinnon set up that score.
Cordarrelle Patterson’s 22-yard gain on a double reverse late in the quarter put the Vikings in striking distance again. A chop-block penalty by tackle T.J. Clemmings forced them to settle for Forbath’s 28-yard field goal with 12:38 left.
The Lions couldn’t get anything going offensively in the second half until they started a drive from their own 2. Boldin’s 29-yard reception on third-and-8 from the Detroit 18 gave the Lions some breathing room. Detroit advanced the ball far enough to set up Prater’s 48-yard field goal, tying it at 13-all with 1:45 remaining.
The Lions led 10-7 at the half.
Boldin caught his team-high sixth touchdown pass to finish off Detroit’s opening possession. Stafford completed all six of his pass attempts on the 75-yard drive, including his 2-yarder to Boldin.
The Vikings tied it at 7 on Matt Asiata’s 5-yard run with 40 seconds left in the quarter. The drive was aided by two pass-interference calls. Detroit also thought it had forced a Bradford fumble in between those penalties but it was ruled an incomplete pass upon review.
Prater’s 29-yard field goal, set up by Golden Tate’s 41-yard reception, gave Detroit a 10-7, second-quarter edge.
Both teams failed on fourth-down conversions later in the quarter.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto)