Guest of the League
One and Done - FFL: Week 1 | NFL: Week 13

Vikings throw away key victory with late defensive collapse

Sun Dec 5 7:09pm ET
Associated Press

Related photo caption below

Members of the Minnesota Vikings stand on the field after the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Related photo caption below

Minnesota Vikings safety Josh Metellus (44) reacts after the Detroit Lions won the game with a last second touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Related photo caption below

Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (14), defended by Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler (27) catches a 11-yard pass for a touchdown to end the NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Related photo caption below

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

DETROIT (AP) The Minnesota Vikings are perfectly aware of what they wasted on Sunday afternoon.

Needing a win to maintain a solid chance at an NFC playoff spot, they had things under control. With 1:50 to play and a 27-23 lead, all they had to do was stop the winless Detroit Lions from driving 75 yards with no timeouts.

They couldn't do it.

Jared Goff hit Amon-Ra St. Brown for an 11-yard touchdown as time expired, giving the Lions an inexplicable 29-27 victory.

''I know there's supposed to be a 24-hour rule about thinking about games, but this one is going to bother me for years,'' Vikings safety Harrison Smith said. ''We have a short week with another game on Thursday, so we have to move ahead, but this hurts.''

The strategy for beating Goff this season has been fairly simple: Bring pressure and force him into small gains or big mistakes. Minnesota got three sacks and forced Goff into a pair of turnovers, but the Vikings changed up on the last drive.

Instead of trying to keep serious pressure on Goff, the Vikings rushed three and dropped eight defenders into a soft zone. As a result, he was able to keep Detroit moving with short passes over the middle - his one obvious strength.

''In hindsight, we would have loved to have gotten more pressure on him, but I didn't think we were covering very well,'' Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. ''I thought we needed more people in coverage than we did up front. Obviously, that didn't work.''

Detroit's longest play on the winning drive was 13 yards, and even that was a short pass that Godwin Igwebuike caught over the middle and broke down the sideline. After 11 frustrating weeks, Goff had finally found a team he could beat with a thousand paper cuts.

The Vikings were still in good shape with 23 seconds left, with the Lions facing third-and-6 at the 26, but T.J. Hockenson's 10-yard catch got the first down. After a spike, Goff hit St. Brown, who got out of bounds at the 11 with 8 seconds left.

Goff missed Josh Reynolds on his first shot at the end zone, leaving :04, but the Vikings chose an odd coverage scheme on the final play. Despite eight defenders knowing the Lions had to get a touchdown, St. Brown was able to get into the end zone in front of Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler.

''I have to see the film, but Dantzler was supposed to be playing off him,'' Zimmer said. ''He was supposed to have inside help, and I don't know what happened to it.''

With only three rushers, the Vikings left Goff plenty of time to make the winning throw to St. Brown. In a fourth quarter that had seen him turn over the ball twice, the much-maligned quarterback managed to damage Minnesota's postseason chances.

''We forced two takeaways in the fourth quarter and the offense went down and got us the lead,'' Smith said. ''All we had to do was execute for one more drive, but we didn't do it.''

The loss leaves Minnesota at 5-7 with a home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.

''This isn't going to be a loss you forget about,'' Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins said. ''But we're all professionals here. We know we have to be ready on Thursday.

Top Headlines
The Paur Report

RTSports Weekly: Week 13

Player Notes
Jared Goff Dec 5 7:10pm ET
Jared Goff

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff completed 25-of-41 passes for 296 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in the Lions glorious 29-27 last-second victory over the Vikings. It is December but the Lions happily welcomed their first victory of the season thanks to Goff's fourth quarter heroics. The embattled Lions passer came into the week with a favorable matchup against a vulnerable Vikings secondary and delivered, perhaps, his best performance of the season. With 1:50 left to the play and Detroit down by a score, Goff led the team down the field for a 14-play, 75-yard drive, culminating in a touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown as time expired. Goff's season has been a major disappointment, and is not fantasy viable, but he can head into Week 14 feeling good about himself for the first time this season.

From RotoBaller

Joe Mixon Dec 5 7:10pm ET
Joe Mixon

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (neck) added another touchdown in Week 13 versus the Chargers, extending his current scoring streak to nine games. However, his 19 carries for 54 yards were a far cry from what fantasy managers witnessed during Cincy's previous bout against the Steelers, where he finished with 165 yards and two touchdowns off 28 touches. Even worse, the former Sooner revealed he sustained a neck injury against Los Angeles, which is certainly never a good thing. As a result, Mixon's status moving ahead should be monitored, especially since there is a chance he may not be available in Week 14 versus the visiting San Francisco 49ers. If that's the case, Samaje Perine will likely handle most of the work out of the backfield and warrants a roster spot in deeper formats.

From RotoBaller

Jamaal Williams Dec 5 7:10pm ET
Jamaal Williams

Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams carried the ball 17 times for 71 yards in the Lions last-second victory over the Vikings in Week 13. Stepping in for injured teammate D'Andre Swift, Williams provided solid production from the backfield and added nine receiving yards. Swift's injury will need to be monitored but Williams could be worth a fantasy bench stash in deeper formats if he gets the chance to fill in as the RB1 for the Lions heading into Week 14.

From RotoBaller

Amon-Ra St. Brown Dec 5 7:10pm ET
Amon-Ra St. Brown

Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown led the team with 10 receptions for 86 yards, none more important than the go-ahead touchdown as time expired in the Lions 29-27 win over the Vikings. The rookie has impressed the coaching staff all season but it has failed to transfer onto the field for consistent results. But St. Brown really shined in this game, making plays throughout the game and saw a team-high 12 targets in the game. St. Brown may not be ready for the fantasy spotlight just yet but is trending in the right direction for the final leg of the season and could pop on the fantasy waiver wire radar in the weeks to come.

From RotoBaller

Darnell Mooney Dec 5 7:00pm ET
Darnell Mooney

Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney caught five passes for only 27 yards in the team's 33-22 loss to the Cardinals in Week 13. The Bears leading receiver the previous two weeks was non-existent in the first half, racking up only two targets on a rainy Sunday. Mooney would finish the game with seven targets but the Bears were unable to stretch the field at any point in a game where quarterback Andy Dalton tossed four interceptions. With Allen Robinson II on the shelf currently with a hamstring injury, Mooney will continue to be the lone receiver fantasy managers can possibly depend on moving forward.

From RotoBaller

Jakeem Grant Dec 5 7:00pm ET
Jakeem Grant

Chicago Bears wide receiver Jakeem Grant Sr. caught five passes for 62 yards with one touchdown in the Bears loss to the Cardinals in Week 13. The Bears are decimated at wide receiver due to injuries and Grant's snaps on offense have been on the rise the past three weeks. Grant hauled in a 34-yard pass then added his first touchdown of the season and provides elite speed in an offense that has struggled to score points. Grant is not the most promising fantasy option moving forward but he could continue to see his target-share rise if teammates Allen Robinson II and Marquise Goodwin remain out with their respective injuries.

From RotoBaller

Logan Thomas Dec 5 7:00pm ET
Logan Thomas

Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas (knee) won't return to Sunday's matchup against the Raiders. It's rather unfortunate news, especially considering he had three catches for 48 yards and a touchdown before his premature departure. Nonetheless, his status moving forward is unknown, although there will be an update ahead of the upcoming NFC North matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. If Thomas can't go for that one, Ricky Seals-Jones (hip), who was inactive in Week 13, could be in store for a more prominent workload, assuming he plays.

From RotoBaller

Cole Kmet Dec 5 7:00pm ET
Cole Kmet

Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet caught three passes for 41 yards in the team's Week 13 loss to the Cardinals 33-22. Kmet's performance got off to a terrible start, bobbling a pass in the red zone in the first quarter that ended up in the arms of the Cardinals defense for an interception. Kmet would see seven targets in the game and posted a solid 24-yard reception in the second half. Kmet's involvement in the offense has solidified some over the past month but re-occurring mistakes and the sudden re-emergence of Jimmy Graham in the red zone puts a cap on his fantasy potential moving forward.

From RotoBaller

Andy Dalton Dec 5 6:50pm ET
Andy Dalton

Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton completed 26-of-41 passes for 229 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions in the team's 33-22 loss to the Cardinals in Week 13. Turnovers doomed Dalton from the start, as he threw an interception on the first drive of the game. The veteran's passes were tipped consistently at the line of scrimmage on a rain-soaked Sunday, and Dalton now has seven turnovers in five games played this season. The Bears season is up the track and Dalton could very well start once more next week against the Packers before relinquishing the job back to Justin Fields, who is currently nursing broken ribs.

From RotoBaller

Joe Burrow Dec 5 6:50pm ET
Joe Burrow

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (finger) finished with 300 yards on 24-for-40 passing during the loss to the Chargers in Week 13. The sophomore signal-caller also threw a touchdown, finding Tee Higgins with a 29-yard toss in the second quarter. Yet, his two interceptions certainly didn't help things. To make matters worse, Burrow suffered a dislocated pinky on his throwing hand, an injury that he told reporters was causing him a great deal of pain. As a result, there's a chance that the 24-year-old may miss Week 14 against the 49ers, so fantasy managers should make the necessary preparations in advance. However, Burrow's backup, Brandon Allen, certainly isn't the answer.

From RotoBaller

David Montgomery Dec 5 6:50pm ET
David Montgomery

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery carried the ball 21 times for 90 yards and added eight receptions for 51 yards with one touchdown in the Bears 33-22 loss to the Cardinals. The Bears offense suffered throughout the game with quarterback Andy Dalton tossing four interceptions but Montgomery was fantastic out of the backfield. When Montgomery gets consistent touches in a game, good things happen. The third-year running back's 29 touches is a new season-high and the Bears would be wise to continue to ride Montgomery moving forward.

From RotoBaller

Mike Gesicki Dec 5 6:40pm ET
Mike Gesicki

Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki saw plenty of action during the Week 13 matchup against the New York Giants. He hauled in seven of his 11 targets for 46 yards in the win. Those 11 targets were the most for Gesicki since Week 3. Obviously, the yardage wasn't great, but the fact Gesicki saw double digit targets is encouraging. After this performance, Gesicki should be back on the TE1 radar off the Week 14 bye week.

From RotoBaller

Albert Wilson Dec 5 6:40pm ET
Albert Wilson

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson was surprisingly heavily targeted during the Week 13 matchup against the New York Giants. He hauled in four of his eight targets for 26 yards in the win. Those eight targets were a season high for Wilson who has been more involved lately. Over the last four games, Wilson has seen four targets or more in every contest. Sadly, Wilson has only surpassed 30 receiving yards in one of those games. He isn't someone worth starting in fantasy formats while DeVante Parker and Jaylen Waddle are healthy.

From RotoBaller

Justin Jefferson Dec 5 6:40pm ET
Justin Jefferson

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson continued his ascent up the rankings of NFL wide receivers with another monster performance in Week 13. Jefferson entered the matchup against the Detroit Lions as WR5 in PPR leagues and still had season-highs in targets, receptions and yards. Jefferson turned 14 targets into 11 receptions and his 182 yards were more than half of the Vikings' total receiving yards in the game. If teammate Adam Thielen is forced to miss any time with the injury that caused him to leave the game early, Jefferson could be in line for another heavy target load against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 14.

From RotoBaller

Jason Sanders Dec 5 6:40pm ET
Jason Sanders

Miami Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders has seen his fantasy value rebound after a slow start to the season. In Week 13, Sanders connected on 2-of-3 field goal attempts in the win over the New York Giants. The normally trusty kicker has been missing kicks more frequently this season. Although, he would normally be rostered in more formats if the Dolphins offense was actually trustworthy. There isn't a ton of value with Sanders going forward. He seems to have regressed from the last season and there should be more useful options in most formats. He could be a possible streaming option against the New York Jets after the Week 14 bye week.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Lockett Dec 5 6:30pm ET
Tyler Lockett

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett returned to Sunday's matchup against the 49ers. He had briefly exited and was observed being examined inside the blue medical tent for an undisclosed reason. However, whatever the issue was, it didn't appear to be too serious. Still, fantasy managers should keep an eye on things leading up to the Week 14 outing versus Houston.

From RotoBaller

James Conner Dec 5 6:30pm ET
James Conner

In perhaps his last game with the backfield to himself before the possible return of Chase Edmonds in Week 14, Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner led the team in both rushing and receiving in the 33-22 win over the Chicago Bears. Quarterback Kyler Murray had the only two rushing touchdowns for Arizona though Conner did contribute with a 23-yard receiving touchdown in the second quarter. Even with the return of Edmonds, Conner's production in his absence may have earned him more playing time for the rest of the season. Conner's 14 touchdowns are currently tied for the third-most in the league, cementing himself as Arizona's go-to option near the goal-line. Conner and the Cardinal's take on the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14.

From RotoBaller

DeVante Parker Dec 5 6:30pm ET
DeVante Parker

Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker made his return to the field during the Week 13 matchup against the New York Giants. He had missed each of the last four games coming into this matchup. Parker returned with a splash, while hauling in all five of his targets for 62 yards in the win. Fantasy managers who took a chance on Parker are certainly happy with the outing. He'll remain a flex option in PPR formats down the stretch after the Week 14 bye.

From RotoBaller

Brevin Jordan Dec 5 6:30pm ET
Brevin Jordan

Houston Texans rookie tight end Brevin Jordan saw another four targets in the Texans loss to the Colts. He was able to convert two of those targets for seven yards. Jordan went from seeing no work for the first several weeks to becoming a regular part of the offense the last few weeks. The rookie tight end should continue to see solid work as Houston attempts to evaluate their young players in a lost season. Jordan and the Texans welcome the Seahawks in Week 14, where he will be a viable TE2 and bye-week streamer in much deeper leagues.

From RotoBaller

Pharaoh Brown Dec 5 6:20pm ET
Pharaoh Brown

Houston Texans tight end Pharaoh Brown saw five targets in Week 13 against the Colts. He managed to convert those five targets into four receptions for 23 yards. Brown remains a key cog of an inept Texans offense. The floor on Brown is rock-bottom, but any tight end seeing a solid workload should be monitored in fantasy. The Texans get the Seahawks in Week 14, where Brown will be a low-end TE2 as a bye-week streamer in deeper leagues that start two tight ends.

From RotoBaller