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Lions sweat out 16-14 win over Vikings

12/15/2014 - NFL Detroit Lions Minnesota Vikings + more
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Sunday Blitz: Vikings-Lions Recap

Jim Basquil and Eric Allen break down the Lions' 16-14 win over the Vikings.

DETROIT -- The Detroit Lions are now agonizingly close to a playoff spot.

And agonizing is a pretty good way to describe their latest victory.

Matt Prater's 33-yard field goal with 3:38 remaining lifted Detroit to a 16-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, pulling the Lions into a tie for first place in the NFC North.

Detroit spotted Minnesota a 14-0 lead before slowly rallying with the help of two second-quarter interceptions.

Even at the end, the Lions had to sweat out a 68-yard field goal attempt by Minnesota's Blair Walsh on the game's final play. The kick was short.

The Lions (10-4) have won three in a row and are now even atop the division with Green Bay, which lost to Buffalo earlier in the day.

If the Dallas-Philadelphia game Sunday night does not end in a tie, Detroit can clinch a playoff spot with a win at Chicago next weekend.

Minnesota's Teddy Bridgewater was 31 of 41 for 315 yards with a touchdown, and the Vikings (6-8) held Detroit to 11 first downs, but after Jason Jones blocked Walsh's 26-yard field goal attempt with 7:43 left, the Lions drove 65 yards to set up Prater's third short field goal of the game.

Trailing for the first time all day, the Vikings had a good chance to take the lead again after Cordarrelle Patterson returned the ensuing kickoff to the Minnesota 49, but a holding call pushed the Vikings back, and Bridgewater eventually threw incomplete on fourth down.

The Vikings got the ball again at their 30 with 45 seconds left, but could only make it far enough to set up Walsh's long attempt at a game-winner.

The Lions lost to Baltimore last year on a 61-yard field goal, and to Buffalo this October on a 58-yarder. They were also on the losing end of Tom Dempsey's 63-yarder for New Orleans in 1970.

But Walsh couldn't convert. He also missed from 53 yards earlier in the game.

Matthew Stafford threw for 153 yards and a touchdown for the Lions.

In its last home game of the regular season, Detroit looked flat in the first half, falling behind 14-0 and drawing boos from the crowd at Ford Field. The Lions couldn't manage a first down until the second quarter, on their fifth offensive possession.

Matt Asiata opened the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run. Bridgewater added an 8-yard TD pass to Greg Jennings in the second quarter, and the Vikings were in Detroit territory again when Glover Quin intercepted Bridgewater and returned it 56 yards to the Minnesota 11.

Stafford threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate, and Bridgewater's next pass was behind Jennings and intercepted by Darius Slay, giving the Lions the ball at the Minnesota 32.

Prater's field goal made it 14-10 at halftime.

Prater, who helped stabilize Detroit's atrocious kicking game when he joined the Lions in October, connected from 30 yards in the third quarter to cut the deficit to one. Jones' block in the fourth meant Detroit only needed a field goal to take the lead.