Take a look at our 3 Key Takeaways from Detroit Lions defeating the Minnesota Vikings in this afternoon's regular-season finale at Ford Field.
The Detroit Lions celebrated a significant victory over division rivals, the Minnesota Vikings, marking the exclamation point on their first division-winning season in 30 years with a solid 12-win season. However, the triumph was marred by the loss of two key players to injuries, posing potential complications for their upcoming playoff game against an as-yet-undetermined opponent.
Did Dan Campbell make the right call in not resting the starters?
There will likely be significant speculation about head coach Dan Campbell's decision to feature key players like Sam LaPorta and Kalif Raymond in today's lineup against the Minnesota Vikings. Right now, their status for Detroit's upcoming playoff game has yet to be determined.
LaPorta suffered a knee injury shortly after his 81st catch of the season, which moved him past Keith Jackson‘s record of most receptions for a rookie tight end in NFL history.
“The best way I can put it is, it's not as bad as it looked, but it's not good news,” Campbell said Sunday. “So, it's kind of in this, we'll know more tomorrow. But, I know it looked awful, it's not as bad as that. But, it doesn't mean that it looks good in the immediate here. Leaf's (Kalif Raymond's) in kind of that same world a little bit.”
Raymond, who hauled in a pair of catches for 50 yards, departed in the game's 2nd half; he also racked up 89 yards on four punt returns.
Amon-Ra St. Brown told his doubters to shove it
It was no secret that receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown was not happy about being snubbed for the 2024 NFL Pro Bowl, and he made sure to deliver a standout performance on the field today for the Lions.
He hauled in seven passes for a total of 144 yards and a touchdown, improving his total catches for the 2023 season to 119, trailing the likes of only Herman Moore and Calvin Johnson in team history for most receptions in a season.
Aidan Hutchinson continues playing in Beast Mode
The former Michigan Wolverine was an absolute wrecking ball on the field for the Lions today, sacking Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens not once but twice to bring his season total to 11.5. Thanks to that feat, he's now the youngest player in team history to reach that number of sacks.
Hutchinson attested to his ability to make the plays that matter when the game matters most:
“I feel like I'm going to make a play when it matters most and I take pride in that,” Hutchinson said. “And I really do believe that, in the biggest games I feel like that's when I show up. And usually, the biggest games are at the end of the year.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- The Detroit Lions clinched a victory over the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field today, finalizing the game with a 30-20 scoreline. This win further solidified their record at 12-5 and emphasized their triumphant division-winning season.
- The Lions lost both Sam LaPorta and Kalif Raymond to injury, fueling debate on whether or not playing the team starters was the right decision
- Both Amon-Ra St. Brown and Aidan Hutchinson turned in top-notch performances for the Lions against the Minnesota Vikings
Bottom Line: Playoff-bound
Despite today's circumstances against the visiting Minnesota Vikings, the excitement in the Motor City is palpable as anticipation builds for the inaugural playoff game at 21-year-old Ford Field. Fans are able to find solace in Detroit's confirmed place in the postseason secured two weeks ago.
It's a great moment to reflect on the thrilling journey of the 2023 regular season for Detroit, culminating in their first division win in three decades.