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Jared Goff, Lions finish regular season on high note, down Vikings

Jan 7, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) throws a pass against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Goff passed for 320 yards and two touchdowns, including a 70-yard strike to Amon-Ra St. Brown, and the playoff-bound Detroit Lions defeated the visiting Minnesota Vikings 30-20 on Sunday.

St. Brown caught seven passes for 144 yards for the NFC North champion Lions (12-5), who bounced back from a controversial loss to Dallas on Dec. 30.

Sam LaPorta caught a 2-yard touchdown pass but injured his knee late in the half after making another catch.

LaPorta set the NFL single-season record for most receptions by a rookie tight end on the touchdown. With five catches for the game, LaPorta finished the regular season with 86 receptions. Keith Jackson held the previous record with 81 catches in 1988.

Nick Mullens passed for 396 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions for the Vikings (7-10), who were officially eliminated from postseason contention. Justin Jefferson caught 12 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown.

The Lions grabbed a 13-6 halftime lead.

A 42-yard punt return by Kalif Raymond set up the Lions’ first touchdown. Goff completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to LaPorta to finish a 52-yard drive.

Goff’s 41-yard pass to Raymond set up the Lions’ next touchdown, a 3-yard run by Jahmyr Gibbs. Michael Badgley missed the extra-point try.

Greg Joseph’s 39-yard field goal put Minnesota on the board. Joseph ended the half with a 43-yard field goal.

Detroit extended its lead to 20-6 midway through the third quarter. Goff’s 20-yard pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones on fourth down kept the drive alive and David Montgomery finished it off with a 1-yard plunge.

Minnesota pulled within seven points again on Mullens’ 38-yard scoring pass to Jefferson with 20 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Lions got those points back when Goff connected with St. Brown, who zig-zagged through the defense on his 70-yard touchdown 15 seconds into the fourth quarter.

The Vikings responded with Mullens’ 42-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Addison with 13:22 remaining.

Badgley’s 39-yard field goal with 8:14 left made it 30-20. Interceptions by Cameron Sutton and C.J. Gardner-Johnson clinched the Lions’ victory.

–Field Level Media

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