It wasn't pretty. It wasn't easy.
After coming into the game with an impressive eight takeaways, the Lions picked up three fumbles to make it 11 forced turnovers on the season. The Lions got the win without having to risk major injury to their top rusher, a back who was forced to miss all but two games past year due to foot problems.
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. Backup Case Keenum, who threw for three touchdowns and posted career-highs in passing yards (369) and quarterback rating (142.1) as the Vikings demolished the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Lions trailed 16-13 with 23 seconds to play on November 6 at U.S. Bank Stadium before hustling to set up Matt Prater's overtime-forcing 58-yard field goal. Last season, Murray played in 14 games rushing for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns. His fumble on the play led to a go-ahead touchdown for Detroit, which was able to hold Minnesota's dynamic wide receiver tandem of Stefon Diggs (five catches, 98 yards) and Adam Thielen (five catches, 59 yards), largely in check.
The defense all did a great job holding Matthew Stafford in check. Errant throws and unsafe decisions with the football almost spelled disaster on several occasions for the Lions. In the second half, Andrew Sendejo missed two and Trae Waynes missed one clear shot on Ameer Abdullah. If the Bears end up starting Mitchell Trubisky, the offensive line must be at its absolute best in what is nearly certain to be a downsized, run-heavy gameplan that hasn't shown an ability to threaten downfield. His ability to run between, behind, and around his tackles allowed the Lions to control field position and the clock. It was a non-contact injury as Cook started to fall before getting tackled and subsequently fumbled on the play.
"After struggling so much to generate takeaways last season (14 all year), the Lions lead the National Football League after three weeks with eight", wrote Tim Twentyman on the team's official website. He will not return to the game.
T.J. Lang returned to action after missing one series, but took a shot in the back that he expects to feel in the morning.
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