This is my quick-reaction blog following the game. My full column will focus on Danielle Hunter’s big day and be available in the paper and at startribune.com.
The Vikings needed a game like this - a laugher, an opportunity to coast, a chance to go into the bye feeling good and looking like a contender.
Thanks to the Vikings’ defense and the Detroit Lions’ ineptitude, the Vikings never looked pressured on Sunday, beating Detroit, 24-9, while the Lions looked like they desperately missed Golden Tate.
The Lions traded away their best run-after-catch receiver last week, and without him quarterback Matthew Stafford looked helpless. The Vikings’ pass rush dominated the game and helped the Vikings enter the bye at 5-3-1, with a week to rest before facing Chicago, Green Bay, New England and Seattle.
Give Vikings coach Mike Zimmer credit. He never let Stafford set his feet, never let Stafford test the Vikings’ beat-up secondary.
And take credit away from rookie Lions coach Matt Patricia, who did not give Stafford a chance to make plays. Had Stafford had more time in the pocket or more receivers available to him quickly, he may have have spent the day on his back, and the Vikings might not be near the top of the NFC North entering the bye.