Key player

Lions QB Jared Goff

Goff probably got tired of hearing he was 0-3 against Brian Flores-coached defenses. His overall numbers were modest: 30-of-40 for 257 yards and one touchdown. But he was sacked only once. He had no turnovers. He led an offense that was 6-of-12 on third down and 2-of-2 on fourth down and dominated time of possession 38:22 to 21:38. His offense had balance the Vikings did not, as the Lions rushed 143 yards.

Key play

Nick Mullens' last interception

Somehow, despite all their turnovers, all their penalties, all their injuries, the Vikings were down by six at the Detroit 30-yard line with 58 seconds left. Most of this was Justin Jefferson's doing, after he recovered a Mullens fumble deep in Vikings territory then made a catch to convert a third-and-27 on the next play. So Mullens did what had worked all day: He threw in Jefferson's direction. But like many of Mullens' throws Sunday, the ball was behind the receiver. Ifeatu Melifonwu intercepted it at the 5 to end the threat and send the Vikings to their eighth one-score loss of the season.

Key number


Mullens has started 19 NFL games. He has thrown 29 interceptions, including four Sunday. He was also nearly intercepted in the end zone, but Detroit's Brian Branch dropped it. His career interception rate (interceptions divided by attempts) is 3.9%. He has thrown six interceptions in nine quarters as the Vikings quarterback, combining some bad decisionmaking with poorly thrown balls. He also fumbled twice while being sacked Sunday; he fumbled a third time but was ruled down by contact.

Up next

vs. Green Bay, Dec. 31, 7:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday night football on New Year's Eve against the Vikings' biggest rival with huge playoff implications? Sure, let's do this. The Vikings and Packers are both 7-8 and need to win to stay in the playoff hunt. The Packers, who lost to the Vikings 24-10 on Oct. 29, seemed to be imploding last week, but the Panthers can cure many ills. Green Bay's defense doesn't look cured, but the Packers came away with a 33-30 win.

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: vs. Green Bay
TBA: at Detroit