It took 13 weeks, but the Detroit Lions finally picked up their first win of the season and like most games involving the Lions this season, there was drama down until the final second.
Detroit’s first win of the year wasn’t locked up until Jared Goff hit Amon-Ra St. Brown on the game’s final play to give the Lions a wild 29-27 win over the visiting Vikings. The throw by Goff capped a 14-play, 75-yard drive and set up off a celebration in Detroit that got so crazy, it almost made you think the Lions had just won the Super Bowl.
In a season where the Lions have basically mastered the art of losing close games — including one thatcame on a 66-yard field goal — this one seemed like another loss waiting to happen after Kirk Cousins hit Justin Jefferson for a touchdown with 1:50 left to give Minnesota a 27-23 lead.
After losing a heartbreaker to the Vikings earlier this year, Goff did everything in his power to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. The beleaguered quarterback came up in the clutch, completing 9 of 14 passes for 80 yards on the final drive, including the 11-yard throw to St. Brown that gave Detroit the win.
The throw capped a huge day for Goff, who threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Although Goff did make multiple mistakes in the fourth quarter — he threw an interception and lost a fumble — the resilient Lions defense played well enough to keep Detroit in the game.
The win wasn’t just big for the Lions, it was also big for Goff and that’s mainly because this victory marked the first time in his career that he’s won a game without Sean McVay. Going into Week 13, Goff had been 0-16-1 in his career in games where he wasn’t coached by McVay.
For St. Brown, he became an unlikely hero. The rookie receiver caught 10 passes for 86 yards and the game-winning touchdown, which was extra impressive considering that he had caught exactly zero touchdown passes going into Week 13 (He had also never even caught eight passes in a single game).
For the Lions, this win came exactly one year after their last win. Before Sunday, the last time the Lions won a game came on Dec. 6, 2020.
Unfortunately for the Lions, the day they picked up their first win could also turn into the day where they’re officially eliminated from the playoffs. If the 49ers and Washington both win on Sunday, the Lions will join the Texans as the NFL’s first two teams this year to be eliminated from postseason contention, but no one in Detroit cares about that right now, all they care about is the fact that their team isn’t going to become just the fourth team in NFL history to finish a season with zero wins in a regulation season.
Alright, let’s get to the grades for every game from Week 13. If you’re looking for a deeper dive on the Cowboys‘ win over the Saints that was played on Thursday, be sure to click here.
Detroit 29-27 over Minnesota
Vikings-Lions grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Tampa Bay 30-17 over Atlanta
Buccaneers-Falcons grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Miami 20-9 over N.Y. Giants
Giants-Dolphins grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Indianapolis 31-0 Houston
Colts-Texans grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Arizona 33-22 over Chicago
Cardinals-Bears grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
L.A. Chargers 41-22 over Cincinnati
Chargers-Bengals grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Philadelphia 33-18 over N.Y. Jets
Eagles-Jets grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)