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Vikings 14, Lions 13

The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- Rookie Cordarrelle Patterson ended his first NFL season by running for one touchdown and catching another as the Minnesota Vikings ended their time in the Metrodome with a 14-13 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Patterson had a 50-yard run in the first quarter to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead, and he added an 8-yard reception from quarterback Matt Cassel with 9:19 left in the game at the Dome's Mall of America Field. The catch came two plays after Marcus Sherels' 50-yard punt return gave the Vikings a first-and-goal from the 8 and it ended a run of 13 straight second-half points by the Lions.

It was the final game after 32 seasons in the dome. It carried no playoff ramifications, with both teams missing key players -- including Lions receiver Calvin Johnson and Vikings back Adrian Peterson -- and, seemingly, much emotion.

Indeed, it seemed a precursor to impending change, with the jobs of both Lions coach Jim Schwartz and Vikings coach Leslie Frazier in jeopardy.

It was a game of two halves, with the Vikings dominating the stats in the first half and the Lions in the second. Ultimately it was a disappointing finish to the season for both the Vikings (5-10-1) and Detroit (7-9).

Cassel completed 20 of 33 passes for 189 yards, a score and an interception and running back Matt Asiata had 115 yards on 14 carries, including a 39-yarder late as the Vikings were killing the clock.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 22 of 33 passes for 217 yards and a score, with most of those numbers coming in the second half.

Patterson, who also set a franchise record for kickoff return yardage, got the Vikings off to a quick start. He lined up in the slot, came in motion and took the pitch, reversed field, appeared to be looking to pass, then took off. With Cassell providing a key block, Patterson ran around right end, cut across the field and was off on a 50-yard run for a 7-0 first-quarter lead. It was Patterson's eighth TD this season, his third rushing.

The Vikings had a chance to double their lead, driving 69 yards to a first-and-goal at the Detroit 2. But, after two incomplete passes, Cassel's third-down throw to Jerome Simpson was intercepted by safety Louis Delmas 6 yards deep in the end zone and returned 42 yards to the Lions' 36.

That's how it stayed through halftime, despite the Vikings' 241-56 edge in yardage and a 14-3 edge in first downs.

Things sure changed in the second half.

Stafford completed five of six passes for 70 yards in an 85-yard drive to open the third quarter that tied the game on Stafford's 19-yard pass to running back Reggie Bush.

After a Vikings punt, the Lions drove to the Vikings' 35, where the drive stalled and David Akers missed a 53-yard field goal. But the Vikings' Shaun Prater was flagged for being off-sides, giving the Lions a first down. Seven plays later Akers hit from 25 yards out for a 10-7 Lions lead.

The lead grew to 13-7 on another Akers field goal four plays after Ashlee Palmer recovered Vikings running back Matt Asiata's fumble at the Vikings' 39.

It appeared the Lions were in control until Sherels' punt return gave the Vikings' life.

NOTES: Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson scored his third rushing touchdown of the season on a 50-yarder in the first quarter, which set franchise records for longest run by a receiver and number of TD runs by a receiver in a season. His 20-yard kickoff return in the second half gave him a new team record for most kickoff return yards in a season, breaking Buster Rhymes' 1985 record. ... Lions WR Calvin Johnson, listed as questionable on the Lions' injury report, was deactivated because of the knee injury that kept him out of practice all week. Johnson entered the final week of the regular season second in the NFL with 1,492 receiving yards, but has battled a sore right knee since September. CB Chris Houston (toe), OT LeAdrian Waddle (ankle) were also out for the Lions. ... RB Adrian Peterson (groin, foot), was inactive for the Vikings, meaning two of the NFL's best offensive players were not available Sunday. Peterson finishes the season with 1,266 yards on 279 carries. He was third in the league in rushing entering the weekend. CB Xavier Rhodes (ankle), DT Letroy Guion (quad), MLB Audie Cole (ankle) and RB Toby Gerhart (hamstring) were also out for Minnesota. ... Former Vikings C Matt Birk was the honorary team captain. ... Vikings DE Jared Allen reached double figures in sacks Sunday, something he has done every year since 2007. ... Lions RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell became the first tandem to each get 500 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.
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