Lions rally past Vikings in 3rd quarter 14-7 to go 3-1

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Receiver and kick returner Golden Tate made a number of big plays for the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis. (Getty Images Photo)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Detroit Lions came back to knock off the Minnesota Vikings 14-7 in a battle of 2-1 squads at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

U.S. Bank Stadium, which just opened last year, also will host Super Bowl LII at the end of this season on Feb. 4, 2018.

The Vikings entered the contest as 2.5-point favorites.

The two teams repeatedly traded possessions after the opening kickoff until the first period ended in a scoreless deadlock.

The Lions drove and eventually moved inside Minnesota’s 10-yard line before quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked for a big loss. Stafford was making his 100th consecutive start, which ranks him among the tops in the NFL.

Detroit then got on the scoreboard first on a 29-yard field goal by Matt Prater for a 3-0 lead with 10:47 to go until halftime.

Late in the quarter the Vikings put together a sustained drive that resulted in a 6-yard TD scamper around the left side by Dalvin Cook for a 7-3 advantage with 1:07 remaining until intermission. Cook’s path to the end zone was led by tackle Riley Reiff, who formerly blocked for the Lions from 2012 until last season.

As time elapsed with Minnesota up 7-3, Prater was short and wide left on a 59-yard field goal try — his first miss of 50-plus yards this season.

The second half saw more of the same as the two swapped possessions until Prater added another field goal, this time from 37 yards, allowing the Lions to close to within 7-6 with 10:41 left in the third frame.

On the very first ensuing play, Detroit then recovered a Cook fumble deep in Viking territory followed by a short drive culminating in a 3-yard touchdown run up the middle by Ameer Abdullah plus a conversion pass from Stafford to T.J. JonesĀ for the Lions’ first lead at 14-7 at the 7:25 juncture of the third.

Cook injured his left knee on the play, left the game and never returned for Minnesota.

With 45 seconds to go in the period, the Vikes’ Kai Forbath attempted a 39-yard field goal, which hit the right upright squarely and bounced straight backward, maintaining the score at 14-7 entering the finale.

With 2:12 to play, a Minnesota drive ran out of downs when Case Keenum’s fourth-down pass sailed out of the end zone untouched.

The Vikings got the ball back one more time and promptly fumbled it away, as Glover Quin recovered with 1:43 left to seal the triumph for the visitors.

This marked the third straight time that Detroit has beaten Minnesota.

The Lions now stand 3-1 entering next Sunday’s 1 p.m. home date with the Carolina Panthers at Ford Field.

The Vikings are now 2-2 going into an Oct. 9 trip to meet the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Monday Night Football.

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