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MIN
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Vikings beat Lions 27-9 to move step closer to playoffs

DETROIT (AP) Looks like the Minnesota Vikings have a feel for desperation.

And desperation pass plays.

Kirk Cousins took a shotgun snap, rolled slightly to his right, stepped up and heaved a pass from near midfield into the end zone.

Kyle Rudolph leaped to make a go-ahead touchdown catch.

Cousins' 44-yard Hail Mary to Rudolph as time expired in the first half put the Minnesota Vikings ahead and they beat the Detroit Lions 27-9 Sunday, moving a step closer to playing in the postseason.

''It was a big way to gain some momentum going into the half after a slow start,'' Cousins said. ''They were calling it a Hail Rudy after it happened.''

Minnesota famously beat New Orleans in the playoffs last January on Diggs' game-ending, 61-yard touchdown reception to advance to the NFC championship game.

The Vikings could have clinched a spot in the playoffs with a win and losses by Washington and Philadelphia this weekend. The Redskins lost to Tennessee on Saturday, and shortly after Minnesota walked into its locker room at Ford Field, the Eagles beat Houston on a game-ending field goal.

Minnesota (8-6-1) can still earn a spot in the postseason by closing the regular season with a win against NFC North champion Chicago at home, or by having wild-card hopefuls lose in Week 17.

''We don't want to leave it up to anyone else,'' Rudolph said.

The Vikings overcame an awful start offensively, scoring two touchdowns on Cousins' passes over the last 1:32 of the second quarter, and relied on their defense all afternoon against Detroit.

Minnesota had almost as many punts (4) as yards (5) before Cousins led an eight-play, 69-yard drive that ended with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs late in the first half. On the Vikings' next possession after calling timeout with 2 seconds left in the second quarter against a three-man rush, Cousins capped a 70-yard drive with his Hail Mary to Rudolph, who didn't have much traffic in front of him,.

''I didn't have to move one step off of my spot. I was able to jump,'' said the 6-foot-6 Rudolph, who was a highly touted high school basketball player in Cincinnati. ''I joked earlier I had a lot of rebounds in high school basketball and at that point, it turns into another rebound, so maybe see if I can get that added to my career total.''

In the same end zone three years ago, Aaron Rodgers connected with Richard Rodgers on a winning desperation pass to lift the Packers to a win over Detroit to help them make a push to get into the postseason.

Cousins finished 21 of 28 for 253 yards with three touchdowns, matching his career high with 29 set in 2015 with the Redskins. Rudolph had a career-high 122 yards receiving, matched a career high with two touchdown receptions, and had a season-high nine receptions.

The Lions (5-10) wasted opportunities to have a comfortable cushion in the first half because their offense stalled repeatedly. They had to settle for three field goals and a 9-0 lead, and then they had to deal with a 14-9 deficit after the Hail Mary.

''When those things happen, certainly they have a little bit of a toll on you,'' coach Matt Patricia acknowledged.

Detroit has dropped four of five and seven of nine since reaching .500 in late October, falling apart in Patricia's first season as a head coach after the franchise fired coach Jim Caldwell with a 36-28 record over four seasons.

The playing-for-pride Lions got off to a strong start defensively against the playoff-hopeful Vikings, holding them without a first down until there were three-plus minutes left in the first half.

With the ball, though, Detroit could not to take advantage of favorable field position against a stingy defense. The Lions were relegated to Matt Prater kicking one field goal in the first quarter and two in the second.

The Vikings opened the second half with a field goal for a 17-9 lead that looked like it would be enough against a team that failed to score a touchdown against them in two games this season. Minnesota sent a lot of fans out of Ford Field early in the second half when Cousins threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Rudolph to go ahead by 15 points.

STAFFORD SITS

Matthew Stafford was 18 of 32 for 116 yards and was replaced with 4:10 left by Matt Cassel, who was welcomed by cheers before the Lions were called for a false start prior to his first snap.

''It's frustrating that that's the way the game went,'' said Stafford, who is playing through a back injury. ''Coach makes those decisions. Always want to be out there, understand where he's coming from with it. He knows what I'm dealing with and going through. As far as fans' reaction, it doesn't make any difference.''

INJURY REPORT

Vikings: CB Marcus Sherels left with a foot injury in the first quarter and didn't return. CB Xavier Rhodes (groin) limped off the field in the fourth quarter. FB C.J. Ham (elbow) had an elbow injury.

Lions: TE Luke Willson (concussion), DT A'Shawn Robinson (knee), DeShawn Shead (knee) were hurt during the game.

UP NEXT

Vikings: Host the Bears on Sunday.

''It's going to be like a playoff game,'' Rudolph said.

Lions: Close the season at Green Bay on Sunday.

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Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
K. Cousins 8 QB
253 PaYds, 3 PaTDs, RuYd
28
FPTS
Z. Zenner 34 RB
45 RuYds, 22 ReYds, 2 RECs
6
FPTS
Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 4:19
D.Bailey 29 yard field goal is GOOD Center-K.McDermott Holder-M.Wile.
4
plays
-1
yds
2:15
pos
27
9
Point After TD 13:25
D.Bailey extra point is GOOD Center-K.McDermott Holder-M.Wile.
plays
yds
pos
24
9
Touchdown 13:25
K.Cousins pass short right to K.Rudolph for 4 yards TOUCHDOWN.
9
plays
53
yds
5:38
pos
23
9
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 8:57
D.Bailey 24 yard field goal is GOOD Center-K.McDermott Holder-M.Wile.
11
plays
69
yds
6:06
pos
17
9
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 0:00
D.Bailey extra point is GOOD Center-K.McDermott Holder-M.Wile.
plays
yds
pos
14
9
Touchdown 0:00
K.Cousins pass deep right to K.Rudolph for 44 yards TOUCHDOWN.
5
plays
70
yds
00:36
pos
13
9
Point After TD 1:32
D.Bailey extra point is GOOD Center-K.McDermott Holder-M.Wile.
plays
yds
pos
7
9
Touchdown 1:32
K.Cousins pass short left to S.Diggs for 8 yards TOUCHDOWN.
8
plays
69
yds
2:33
pos
6
9
Field Goal 4:10
M.Prater 48 yard field goal is GOOD Center-D.Muhlbach Holder-S.Martin.
8
plays
36
yds
4:17
pos
0
9
Field Goal 10:43
M.Prater 35 yard field goal is GOOD Center-D.Muhlbach Holder-S.Martin.
9
plays
21
yds
4:11
pos
0
6
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 7:35
M.Prater 47 yard field goal is GOOD Center-D.Muhlbach Holder-S.Martin.
5
plays
28
yds
2:40
pos
0
3
Team Stats
Time of Pos 28:32 31:28
1st Downs 16 17
Rushing 4 3
Passing 11 10
Penalty 1 4
3rd Down Conv 4-13 4-16
4th Down Conv 0-1 1-3
Total Net Yards 340 223
Total Plays 58 69
Avg Gain 5.9 3.2
Net Yards Rushing 100 86
Rush Attempts 28 23
Avg Rush Yards 3.6 3.7
Net Yards Passing 240 137
Comp. - Att. 21-28 23-43
Yards Per Pass 8.6 3.2
Sacked - Yards Lost 2-13 3-24
Penalties - Yards 11-78 7-55
Touchdowns 3 0
Rushing TDs 0 0
Passing TDs 3 0
Other 0 0
Turnovers 0 0
Fumbles - Lost 0-0 1-0
Int. Thrown 0 0
Punts - Avg 6-45.0 6-40.2
Return Yards 60 67
Punts - Returns 1-8 5-18
Kickoffs - Returns 2-52 2-49
Int. - Returns 0-0 0-0
Kicking 5/5 3/3
Extra Points 3/3 0/0
Field Goals 2/2 3/3
Red Zone Eff. 2-5 -40% 0-1 -0%
Goal to Go Eff. 2-3 -67% 0-0 -0%
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Vikings 8-6-1 01431027
Lions 5-10 36009
240 PASS YDS 137
100 RUSH YDS 86
340 TOTAL YDS 223
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT FPTS
K. Cousins 8 QB
28
FPTS
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
75% 253 3 0 137.9
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
70.7% 4166 29 10 100.9
K. Cousins 21/28 253 3 0 28
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG FPTS
D. Cook 33 RB
10
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
16 73 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
122 576 2
D. Cook 16 73 0 18 10
L. Murray 25 RB
2
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 22 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
138 560 6
L. Murray 9 22 0 11 2
A. Thielen 19 WR
8
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
4 31 0
A. Thielen 1 3 0 3 8
K. Cousins 8 QB
28
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
43 116 1
K. Cousins 1 1 0 1 28
C. Ham 30 FB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
6 8 0
C. Ham 1 1 0 1 0
Receiving TAR REC YDS TD LG FPTS
K. Rudolph 82 TE
24
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
9 9 122 2
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 60 615 4
K. Rudolph 9 9 122 2 44 24
A. Thielen 19 WR
8
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
6 5 80 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 110 1335 9
A. Thielen 6 5 80 0 40 8
D. Cook 33 RB
10
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
3 3 35 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 36 284 2
D. Cook 3 3 35 0 20 10
S. Diggs 14 WR
7
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
6 2 10 1
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 94 974 8
S. Diggs 6 2 10 1 8 7
L. Murray 25 RB
2
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 2 6 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 22 141 0
L. Murray 2 2 6 0 4 2
A. Robinson 17 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 0 0 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 17 231 5
A. Robinson 2 0 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT FF
E. Wilson 50 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
24-6 0 2.0
E. Wilson 6-1 1.0 0 0
H. Smith 22 FS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
61-17 3 3.0
H. Smith 6-1 0.0 0 0
A. Harris 41 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
29-12 3 0.0
A. Harris 5-0 0.0 0 0
X. Rhodes 29 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
41-6 1 0.0
X. Rhodes 4-2 0.0 0 0
M. Alexander 20 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
34-7 0 4.0
M. Alexander 4-0 0.0 0 0
B. Gedeon 42 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
26-20 0 0.0
B. Gedeon 4-3 0.0 0 0
A. Barr 55 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
39-15 0 3.0
A. Barr 3-2 0.0 0 0
T. Waynes 26 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
32-7 1 0.0
T. Waynes 3-0 0.0 0 0
L. Joseph 98 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
33-21 0 1.0
L. Joseph 2-0 0.0 0 0
D. Hunter 99 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
49-19 0 14.0
D. Hunter 2-0 0.0 0 0
T. Johnson 96 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
16-7 0 4.0
T. Johnson 1-0 0.0 0 0
J. Johnson 94 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-7 0 0.0
J. Johnson 1-0 0.0 0 0
E. Griffen 97 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
19-8 0 5.0
E. Griffen 1-1 1.0 0 0
K. Brothers 40 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-2 0 1.0
K. Brothers 1-0 1.0 0 0
S. Richardson 93 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
25-23 0 4.0
S. Richardson 1-0 0.0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
D. Bailey 5 K
9
FPTS
IN-GAME FG XP
2/2 3/3
SEASON FG XP
20/27 29/30
D. Bailey 2/2 29 3/3 9
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
M. Wile 6 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
6 48.0 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
67 44.7 25
M. Wile 6 48.0 1 58
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
A. Abdullah 31 RB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 26.0 30 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
14 26.1 33 0
A. Abdullah 2 26.0 30 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
B. Zylstra 15 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 8.0 8 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
3 7.3 9 0
B. Zylstra 1 8.0 8 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT FPTS
M. Stafford 9 QB
4
FPTS
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
56.3% 116 0 0 64.1
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
66.3% 3511 19 11 88.7
M. Stafford 18/32 116 0 0 4
M. Cassel 8 QB
2
FPTS
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
45.5% 45 0 0 57.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
41.2% 59 0 1 26.3
M. Cassel 5/11 45 0 0 2
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG FPTS
Z. Zenner 34 RB
6
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
8 45 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
34 172 2
Z. Zenner 8 45 0 29 6
L. Blount 29 RB
2
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 29 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
143 403 5
L. Blount 11 29 0 10 2
M. Cassel 8 QB
2
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 14 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 13 0
M. Cassel 1 14 0 14 2
T. Riddick 25 RB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 -2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
36 147 0
T. Riddick 3 -2 0 2 0
Receiving TAR REC YDS TD LG FPTS
K. Golladay 19 WR
5
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
15 6 58 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 70 1063 5
K. Golladay 15 6 58 0 21 5
T. Jones 13 WR
4
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
6 6 42 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 16 150 0
T. Jones 6 6 42 0 12 4
Z. Zenner 34 RB
6
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
3 2 22 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 6 26 0
Z. Zenner 3 2 22 0 11 6
L. Toilolo 87 TE
1
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
1 1 16 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 17 220 0
L. Toilolo 1 1 16 0 16 1
A. Jones 17 WR
1
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
5 1 12 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 5 30 1
A. Jones 5 1 12 0 12 1
B. Powell 10 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 1 9 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 5 26 0
B. Powell 2 1 9 0 9 0
T. Riddick 25 RB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
5 4 7 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 61 384 0
T. Riddick 5 4 7 0 7 0
J. Cunningham 86 TE
0
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
1 0 0 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 0 0 0
J. Cunningham 1 0 0 0 0 0
L. Blount 29 RB
2
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
4 2 -5 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 10 67 0
L. Blount 4 2 -5 0 0 2
Defense T-A SACK INT FF
Q. Diggs 28 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
61-12 2 0.0
Q. Diggs 6-1 0.0 0 0
T. Walker 47 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
17-2 1 0.0
T. Walker 4-0 0.0 0 0
T. Wilson 32 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
27-6 0 0.0
T. Wilson 4-0 0.0 0 0
C. Jones 52 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
46-20 0 1.0
C. Jones 4-1 0.0 0 0
N. Lawson 24 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
43-9 0 1.0
N. Lawson 3-1 1.0 0 0
D. Slay 23 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
38-2 3 0.0
D. Slay 3-0 0.0 0 0
D. Harrison 98 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
50-29 0 3.0
D. Harrison 3-2 0.0 0 0
J. Davis 40 MLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
68-25 0 5.0
J. Davis 3-2 0.0 0 0
R. Jean Francois 97 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
17-10 0 2.0
R. Jean Francois 2-2 0.0 0 0
G. Quin 27 FS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
58-16 0 1.0
G. Quin 2-2 0.0 0 0
E. Lee 55 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
E. Lee 1-0 0.0 0 0
R. Okwara 95 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
27-11 0 7.0
R. Okwara 1-0 1.0 0 0
J. Atkins 99 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
J. Atkins 1-1 0.0 0 0
A. Robinson 91 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
33-16 0 1.0
A. Robinson 1-0 0.0 0 0
M. Ford 38 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
20-1 0 0.0
M. Ford 1-0 0.0 0 0
D. Kennard 42 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
29-15 0 7.0
D. Kennard 0-1 0.0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
M. Prater 5 K
9
FPTS
IN-GAME FG XP
3/3 0/0
SEASON FG XP
27/31 26/26
M. Prater 3/3 48 0/0 9
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
S. Martin 6 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
6 41.5 4
SEASON NO AVG IN20
70 45.0 30
S. Martin 6 41.5 4 52
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
J. Agnew 39 CB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 24.5 25 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
2 24.5 25 0
J. Agnew 2 24.5 25 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
J. Agnew 39 CB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
5 3.6 9 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
5 3.6 9 0
J. Agnew 5 3.6 9 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:36 MIN 2 1:26 3 1 Punt
7:30 MIN 25 1:30 3 6 Punt
1:43 MIN 13 1:53 3 -4 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:39 MIN 22 2:17 3 1 Punt
4:05 MIN 31 2:33 8 69 TD
0:36 MIN 30 0:36 5 70 TD
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 MIN 25 6:06 11 69 FG
7:21 MIN 25 1:25 3 9 Punt
4:03 MIN 47 5:38 9 53 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
9:05 MIN 13 1:52 4 12 Punt
6:30 DET 10 2:15 4 -1 FG
3:04 DET 24 1:01 4 3 Downs
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 DET 25 3:24 6 31 Punt
10:10 DET 43 2:40 5 28 FG
6:00 DET 32 4:17 9 31 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:50 MIN 38 4:11 9 21 FG
8:22 DET 34 4:17 8 36 FG
1:32 DET 25 0:56 4 14 Punt
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
8:54 DET 25 1:33 3 3 Punt
5:56 DET 13 1:53 3 -4 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:25 DET 25 4:20 8 24 Punt
7:13 DET 11 0:43 4 -1 Downs
4:15 DET 20 1:11 4 4 Downs
2:03 DET 21 2:03 9 32 Game