MINNEAPOLIS – Another long field goal, and more heartbreak for the Detroit Lions.
The Lions rallied from a 10-point deficit with less than 3 minutes to play, but lost to the Minnesota Vikings, 19-17, on a 54-yard field goal by Greg Joseph as time expired to fall to 0-5 for the first time since 2015.
The Lions have lost twice on long, game-winning kicks in the season’s first five weeks.
In Week 2, Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker beat the Lions with a record-setting 66-yard field after the Lions rallied for a late lead.
On Sunday, Jared Goff committed two turnovers in scoring territory and the Lions failed to reach the end zone until the final minute of the game, but were able to take a brief, 17-16, lead.
Jalen Reeves-Maybin ripped a fumble from Alexander Mattison’s hands with 1:56 left and the Vikings trying to run out the clock.
The Lions took possession at the Minnesota 20-yard line and scored three plays later on a 7-yard run by D’Andre Swift.
Rather than play for the tie and overtime, Lions coach Dan Campbell opted for a two-point conversion, and Goff threw complete to KhaDarel Hodge in the back of the end zone to give the Lions their first lead since Austin Seibert’s opening-drive field goal.
The Vikings, with two timeouts left, started their final drive at their own 18-yard line. Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen for a 21-yard pass over the middle on the first play from scrimmage, and Dede Westbrook for a 6-yard gain on the next play.
Cousins hit Thielen again for 19 yards over the middle, and after spiking the ball with 3 seconds left, Joseph came on for the game-winning kick.
Joseph, who missed a 37-yard field goal on the final play of a loss to the Arizona Cardinals earlier this year, split the uprights to send the Vikings into a celebratory frenzy and keep the Lions one of two winless teams in the NFL along with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Campbell, whose Lions tenure has been full of close losses and risky decisions so far, is the third Lions coach in the Super Bowl era to begin his tenure with five straight losses. Rod Marinelli, who went 0-5 to start the 2006 season, and Marty Mornhinweg, who lost 12 start in 2001, are the others.
Goff finished 21 of 35 passing for 203 yards and had two turnovers in field-goal range for the second straight week. Last week, he fumbled twice inside the 10-yard line in a Lions’ 24-14 loss to the Chicago Bears. He lost one fumble on a sack by Robert Quinn, and was charged with another when Frank Ragnow prematurely snapped a ball early off his leg.
Goff now has seven turnovers in five games this season.
Cousins finished 25 of 34 passing for 275 yards for the Vikings (2-3). Mattison, starting in place of the injured Dalvin Cook, ran for 113 yards on 25 carries and scored Minnesota’s only touchdown on a 15-yard catch when broke two tackles and carried two more Lions defenders into the end zone.
Justin Jefferson added 124 yards receiving for the Vikings, while Swift had 51 yards rushing and 53 receiving for the Lions.
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The Lions host Cincinnati at Ford Field next Sunday (1 p.m.).
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