After 15 games without a victory across a period of almost a year, the Detroit Lions’ winless run has finally come to an end.
Jared Goff’s last-gasp touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown handed the Lions a dramatic 29-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, sparking wild celebrations among the players.
The Lions, whose last win came against the Chicago Bears on December 6 last year, move to 1-10-1 on the season.
The Vikings had taken the lead through Justin Jefferson’s touchdown with close to two minutes remaining, but Goff and the Lions produced a 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended with the first touchdown of St. Brown’s career and a memorable win for the Detroit man.
“My first NFL touchdown, my first NFL win — I’m going to remember this day for a long time,” St. Brown told reporters after the game. “The way it happened, the way it unfolded, it couldn’t be any better.”
The Lions led 20-6 at halftime after Goff had found T.J. Hockenson and Brock Wright for touchdowns but had to weather a comeback from the Vikings in the second half.
Alexander Mattison’s touchdown in the third quarter cut the deficit for Minnesota, before Vikings QB Kirk Cousins found K.J. Osborn and Jefferson for touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
But missed conversions ultimately cost the Vikings and gave the Lions the chance to get the win.
Later, Lions head coach Dan Campbell dedicated the game ball to the victims of Tuesday’s deadly shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan.
“This game ball goes to the whole Oxford community, all those who were affected,” Campbell, for whom this was his first win as Lions head coach, told reporters.
He added: “Those names will never be forgotten and they’re in our hearts and our prayers and all the families, not to mention all those that were affected.”
Goff said that he hoped the game would bring comfort to those affected by the shooting.
“You never hope for a tragedy like this, but you hope to be a light for those people and a positive thing that they could have fun watching today,” he said.
“I hope they were all watching today and were able to enjoy that win and we could take their minds off it for maybe three hours.
“I think anytime we can do that, it’s a lot bigger than our sport, it’s a lot bigger than us, and I thought today was one of those special circumstances that we were able to rise to the occasion and make something special happen.”
Before the game, Lions safety Jalen Elliott honored Oxford High football player Tate Myre, one of four students killed during the shooting, by wearing a Lions jersey with Myre’s name on the back and the number 42 on it as he arrived at Ford Field. Myre also wore No. 42 on Oxford’s football team.
Several Vikings players also honored the victims of the shooting by wearing t-shirts displaying the school’s logo during warmups before the game.
Both teams wore an Oxford-themed decal on their helmets during the game and the Lions also held a moment of silence ahead of kickoff.
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