Detroit 22, Minnesota 16 (OT)
As predicted, the Detroit Lions would end up covering the spread and the Over/Under came in for a team that has now found a new swagger heading into the bye week. Slowly, the Lions are adopting the nonchalant confidence of QB Matthew Stafford.
Despite losing a late lead on the road against the Minnesota Vikings, and some untimely penalties on both sides of the ball, Head Coach Jim Caldwell showed great clock management in the fourth quarter, although he cut it close by leaving the suddenly hot Matt Prater with a long field goal try to tie the game as time expired in regulation.
In overtime, as the road team, the Lions were allowed to call the coin toss – and of course, tails never fails. After a poor kickoff return by Andre Roberts, Stafford was able to orchestrate a fast-paced drive to seal the victory – capped off by a magician’s catch-and-run by Golden Tate who tip-toed along the left sideline and dove into the endzone for the game winning touchdown.
K Matt Prater
Completely automatic all day, especially considering Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh’s missed extra point basically cost them the game. Prater is proving, once again, to be one of the more reliable kickers in pro football.
TE Eric Ebron
A career day. On a day he honored his grandfather who served the United States and served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam by wearing some pretty sweet cleats, he had 7 receptions on 8 targets for 92 yards, and was all over the field – confusing Minnesota consistently in his patterns.
QB Matthew Stafford
It is time to realize that Stafford is one of the best game managers in pro football. He has an incredible sense of timing and when to seize moments in a game. This game was on the ropes with under a minute to go and he found a way to make big plays at key times.
LB Tahir Whitehead
12 tackles, 9 solo. Enough said.