Instant analysis from Minnesota Vikings 28-24 win over the Detroit Lions

The Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions by a score of 28-24 in a crazy game that felt like the Vikings were trying to blow it.

The game started out with both teams missing field goals on their opening drive and the Lions jumped out to a 14-0 lead.

Amon-Ra St. Brown and D.J. Chark were getting open early and often helping the Lions convert three fourth downs in the first half. They ended up going 4-6 on fourth downs in the game.

The much-maligned quarterback Jared Goff was the better signal-caller on the day looking confident and accurate in the pocket and making plays on the move. He finished the game 25-for-41 for 277 yards, a touchdown and the game-ending interception on a hail mary-type play

On the other side, Kirk Cousins had a very up-and-down game. In small spurts, he was making proper reads down the field and finding open receivers. For most of the game, Cousins struggled in the pocket in reading the defense and staying confident. He finished 24-for-41 for 260 yards and two touchdowns. The line is a little more generous than how he played. He also threw off his back foot too often.

The Vikings weapons didn’t have a great day either. Irv Smith Jr. had another key drop, Justin Jefferson dropped three passes with only three receptions for 14 yards and Dalvin Cook injured his shoulder again and was ruled out for the game towards the end of the third quarter.

This was the renaissance of Adam Thielen. After catching just seven passes for 88 yards while getting consistently open, the Vikings made it a point of emphasis to get Thielen the football with 6 catches for 61 yards. K.J. Osborn also got in on the action more than before with five catches for 73 yards and a touchdown.

The defense for the Vikings was up and down. They held the Lions to their lowest point total of the season at 24 but allowed way too many drives to continue when they had the Lions stopped.

The endgame strategy for the Lions was interesting. Up three, head coach Dan Campbell elected to go for the field goal instead of trying to win the game on fourth down by getting a first down. That call ended up biting him in the end and likely would have anyway. Going up six points at the end of the game still allows your opponent to win with a touchdown and an extra point.

After Rich Seubert missed a field goal that would have put the Lions by 6, Cousins led a three-play-56-yard drive that ended in a 28-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Osborn who beat former Vikings cornerback Mike Hughes.

Unfortunate for Campbell to see the Lions lose the game like that, but the Vikings took advantage when it counted and improve to 2-1 on the year with both wins over NFC North opponents. They face the New Orleans Saints next Sunday morning at 8:30 am central.

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire