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Key player

Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown

The game turned into a showcase for Amon-Ra St. Brown and Justin Jefferson in the second half. St. Brown entered the game with more receptions (41) and yards (398) against the Vikings than any other team in his three-year career, and he added to those totals Sunday. He has dealt the Vikings a crushing blow at Ford Field before and did it again Sunday. His 70-yard TD catch two plays after Jefferson had scored on a 38-yard bomb on fourth down put the Lions up 27-13 at the start of the fourth quarter.

St. Brown finished with seven catches for 144 yards. Jefferson, in turn, usually feasts against the Lions and passed 1,000 yards receiving against them in his career after a 12-catch, 192-yard performance.

Key play

Vikings' failed trick play in the red zone

There was a lot of game left after this as the Lions offense went unexpectedly quiet, but the Vikings' only trip to the red zone came early in the second quarter and was indicative of a lot of their problems this season.

Trailing 13-0, the Vikings had first and goal from the Detroit 8. After Alexander Mattison gained no yards on a first-down run (a common occurrence this season), Kevin O'Connell called for a trick play involving a handoff to Jefferson, who was looking to pass. Aidan Hutchinson blew past tight end Johnny Mundt and tackled Jefferson for a 12-yard loss. A delay-of-game penalty (one of their eight penalties Sunday) pushed the Vikings back further, and they settled for a 39-yard Greg Joseph field goal.

The Vikings finished the season scoring touchdowns on only 47% of their red-zone drives and were 16-for-27 (59%) in goal-to-go situations a year after having a red-zone efficiency of 63% and having success of 70% of goal-to-go situations.

Key number

18.6 vs. 30

After shutting out the Raiders in Week 14, the Vikings were allowing 18.6 points per game. In their last four games, all losses, they gave up 30 points per game, allowing more than 370 yards each time. As injuries piled up and offenses started to figure out how to attack Brian Flores' scheme, the Vikings could no longer rely on their defense to bail out their struggling offense. A year after being a top 10 scoring offense (24.9), the Vikings finished the 2023 season scoring 20.2 points a game as they cycled through quarterbacks after Kirk Cousins' season-ending Achilles injury.

2023 schedule and results

Sept. 10: L, 20-17 vs. Tampa Bay
Sept. 14: L, 34-28 at Philadelphia
Sept. 24: L, 28-24 vs. L.A. Chargers
Oct. 1: W, 21-13 at Carolina
Oct. 8: L, 27-20 vs. Kansas City
Oct. 15: W, 19-13 at Chicago
Oct. 23: W, 22-17 vs. San Francisco
Oct. 29: W, 24-10 at Green Bay
Nov. 5: W, 31-28 at Atlanta
Nov. 12: W, 27-19 vs. New Orleans
Nov. 19: L, 21-20 at Denver
Nov. 27: L, 12-10 vs. Chicago
Dec. 10: W, 3-0 at Las Vegas
Dec. 16: L, 27-24 OT at Cincinnati
Dec. 24: L, 30-24 vs. Detroit
Dec. 31: L, 33-10 vs. Green Bay
Jan. 7: L, 30-20 at Detroit