Vikings vs. Lions: Final Report Card, Player Grades for Minnesota

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Vikings vs. Lions: Final Report Card, Player Grades for Minnesota

The Minnesota Vikings shot out of the gate and held onto their lead to beat the Detroit Lions, 20-13. This gives the Vikings sole possession of the NFC North title at 3-1 and drops the Lions to 1-3. Their divisional loss puts them in the cellar of the NFC North, and they will need a big turnaround to make a playoff push.

The Vikings started the game off with their longest kickoff return in team history, with a 105 yard runback for a touchdown by Percy Harvin. The Lions responded by moving the chains by way of a defensive pass interference penalty, and settled for a field goal.

Three drives later, the Vikings moved sporadically down the field to set up a Blair Walsh field goal from 49 yards.

In the second quarter, a stop by the Vikings defense allowed the offense to move up field, who stalled after a series of questionable calls from offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. They settled for a 29 yard field goal.

The Detroit Lions gained new life in the end zone after what looks to be a relatively controversial penalty, but a big hit by Harrison Smith and a dropped pass by Brandon Pettigrew in the end zone saved the touchdown. Jason Hanson converted the field goal.

After the half, the Vikings exhibited their special teams dominance once more, and an electric return by Marcus Sherels is helping to potentially put this game away.

After trading back and forth, the Vikings allowed a 76 yard drive by Stafford and company all the way to the one yard line, where Stafford extended his arms over the plane of the goal line in what will surely be a hotly debated touchdown call.

Like many of the Vikings' games this season, the game came down to the final play. In a twist from last season, the Vikings secured the win by sacking Matt Stafford on fourth down with the clock running down to seal the game with a 20-13 score.

Following are instantly generated game grades for every starter and Josh Robinson, who played significant snaps for the Vikings, both in base packages and the nickel package.

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