What We Saw: Week 14

The What We Saw team recaps all of the noteworthy action from Week 14

Vikings Lions

Final Score: Lions 34, Vikings 23

Writer: Brennan Rampe (@phdinnfl on Twitter)


On a day where the Vikings could clinch the NFC North with a win, questionable coaching decisions, a crucial turnover, and a porous defense combined to prevent that from happening. Justin Jefferson‘s career day became an afterthought as the Lions prevailed.

Detroit opened up the game with a three-and-out and it seemed like Minnesota’s first drive was going to end the same way. After seemingly punting from their own 41-yard line to Detroit’s 16-yard line, a 5-yard penalty on the Lions was accepted by Kevin O’Connell. Dalvin Cook was unable to convert the 4th-and-1, and the Vikings turned it over on downs. Detroit took over in Minnesota territory and scored on the second play, with rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams hauling in a 41-yard pass for his first career touchdown. The Vikings answered with a 10-play, 75-yard drive, culminating in a Cook touchdown to tie the game 7-7.

The teams traded possessions until midway through the second quarter. After a 35-yard punt return by Kalif Raymond, D.J. Chark caught a 48-yard bomb right after that to make it 14-7. The Vikings looked like they were about to tie the game, but despite O’Connell saying during the week his team couldn’t “get cute” against the Lions defense, Cook fumbled while attempting to throw a jump pass to Johnny Mundt. This miscue cost the Vikings a chance to tie the game heading toward halftime. After Detroit missed a field goal, Minnesota had a chance to attempt a 64-yard field goal, but attempted a Hail Mary, and Kirk Cousins got sacked to end the first half.

The Vikings received the ball to start the second half and went three and out. Detroit looked as if they went three and out themselves but successfully pulled off a fake punt, with C.J. Moore running for 42 yards. The drive continued and ended with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Josh Reynolds to make it 21-7. The Vikings answered with a 7-play, 75-yard touchdown drive which ended in a touchdown pass to Adam Thielen. O’Connell inexplicably went for two and it failed. The Lions answered with a touchdown drive of their own, capped by a 15-yard touchdown run by Justin Jackson to make it 28-13. The teams exchanged field goals and then Minnesota scored a touchdown which ultimately made the score look more respectable as the Lions added a field goal, and won to improve to 6-7.

This was the fifth game in a row that Minnesota’s defense has allowed over 400 yards, which is a franchise record.


Minnesota Vikings




Kirk Cousins: 31/41, 425 Yards, 2 TD


Kirk Cousins was solid this week after not looking so good last week, considering he was without two starting offensive linemen. Despite being pressured on the majority of his pass attempts and no running game, he managed to complete 75% of his passes and threw for a season-high 425 yards to go along with 2 touchdowns. He delivered impressive, accurate passes. He basically played error-free football. This loss isn’t on him, it was on the defense. If he plays like this against the Colts, the Vikings should be able to win that game.


Running Back


Dalvin Cook: 15 Carries, 23 Yards, TD | 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 13 Yards | 1 Fumble (Lost)

Alexander Mattison: 2 Carries, -1 Yard

C.J. Ham: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 9 Yards


The lack of two starting offensive linemen was apparent today, as the running game was nonexistent. Dalvin Cook averaged less than half a yard per carry and had a crucial fumble at the end of the second quarter that changed the game. He did have one touchdown where he put a move on Detroit safety DeShon Elliott, but the fumble made people forget all about it. C.J. Ham actually showed up on the stat sheet and caught a pass, which was cool.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Justin Jefferson: 15 Targets, 11 Receptions, 223 Yards

Adam Thielen: 8 Targets, 7 Receptions, 65 Yards, TD

K.J. Osborn: 5 Targets, 5 Receptions, 38 Yards, TD

T.J. Hockenson: 8 Targets, 6 Receptions, 77 Yards, 1 Fumble (Lost)


Justin Jefferson had a career-high 223 yards, which was impressive because of the lack of a running game. It looked as if he scored a touchdown but was ruled out of bounds. He’s the best wide receiver in football, and he shows why every week. Adam Thielen caught 7 of 8 targets and scored a touchdown on fourth down. K.J. Osborn caught everything that was thrown his way and caught a touchdown near the end of the game. T.J. Hockenson was decent in his first game playing against his old team. He had one bad drop, but was otherwise solid. His fumble at the end of the game was a lateral to try to score a touchdown, so it shouldn’t be held against him.



Detroit Lions




Jared Goff: 27/39, 330 Yards, 3 TD | 2 Carries, 9 Yards


The Lions reportedly view Jared Goff as their future. He played like the first overall pick in a draft today and had his second straight 300-yard game. He played mistake-free football. He had no turnovers and didn’t get sacked once. He was a point guard on the field, completing passes to 9 different players, including offensive lineman Penei Sewell.



Over his last five games, he has thrown eight touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s heating up at the right time as Detroit is 6-7 and could make a run at a Wild Card spot.



Running Back


Jamaal Williams: 16 Carries, 37 Yards | 1 Target

D’Andre Swift: 6 Carries, 21 Yards | 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 18 Yards

Justin Jackson: 4 Carries, 19 Yards, TD | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 12 Yards

C.J. Moore: 1 Carry, 42 Yards, 1 Fumble (Recovered)


The Vikings defense got lit up in the passing game, but the run defense was good. Detroit’s running back duo were held to 58 yards on 22 attempts. Justin Jackson was the only Lions running back to find the end zone, which was a bit unexpected. C.J. Moore had a 42-yard rush on a fake punt, which led to a touchdown.



Wide Receiver/Tight End


DJ Chark: 7 Targets, 6 Receptions, 94 Yards, TD

Josh Reynolds: 6 Targets, 5 Receptions, 51 Yards, TD

Jameson Williams: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 41 Yards, TD

Kalif Raymond: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 19 Yards

Amon-Ra St. Brown: 1 Carry, 6 Yards | 9 Targets, 6 Receptions, 68 Yards

Shane Zylstra: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 18 Yards

Penei Sewell: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 9 Yards


This Lions wide receiver room is looking pretty solid as the regular season nears its end. D.J. Chark was the leading receiver for Detroit and scored a touchdown. Jameson Williams’s first career reception was also his first career touchdown. It was a broken coverage that left him wide open, but the speed was still obvious. As he gets healthier and more familiar with the offense, fantasy managers could be looking at a great weapon to have for the future. Josh Reynolds caught five out of his six targets and also scored a touchdown. Amon-Ra St. Brown was solid, but didn’t put up huge numbers like he is generally capable of doing. At the very end of the game, offensive lineman Penei Sewell caught a pass that went for a first down, which was his first career reception.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.