Lions Comeback To Win Turkey Bowl

(DETROIT, MI) – The Detroit Lions defeated the Minnesota Vikings 16-13 in the Lions’ 77th Thanksgiving Day Game. The Lions have now claimed victory over the Vikings in each of the last two Thanksgiving Day games between the teams dating back to a 44-38 win in 1995.

With the victory over, the Lions extended the club’s winning streak on Thanksgiving to four-straight wins. This four game-winning streak represents the team’s longest on Thanksgiving Day since winning four in a row from 1997-2000.

Head coach Jim Caldwell improved his record with the Lions on Thanksgiving to 3-0. With the win, he joins two other Lions coaches to win their first three Thanksgiving Day games in Detroit, including Buddy Parker (1951-55) and Bobby Ross (1997-99).

By claiming a fourth-quarter comeback win over Minnesota, the Lions have now claimed 7 wins this season when trailing in the fourth quarter during all 11 games this season. Entering the game, the Lions were the first team in NFL history to win 6 games when their team trailed in the fourth quarter of their first 10 games of the season.

With the win over the Vikings, the Lions improved to 7-4 on the season. Detroit has now held opponents to 20 points or less in five consecutive games. Under coach Caldwell and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, the Lions have now held opponents to 20 points or less in 24 of the team’s 43 games played since the beginning of the 2014 season.

With 23 pass completions in the game, QB Matthew Stafford set a new NFL record for the fewest games needed to reach 2,500 career completions. His 2-yard touchdown pass to WR Anquan Boldin to open the game in the first quarter was his 100th career touchdown pass at Ford Field.

Stafford had 232 passing yards in the win over Minnesota, and became the third quarterback, after Tony Romo Troy Aikman, 2,175, to throw for 2,000 yards on Thanksgiving. In 7 Thanksgiving games, he has thrown for a franchise record 2,219 yards and the second-most in NFL history.

CB Darius Slay intercepted the Vikings late in the fourth quarter to give the Lions possession at the 20-yard line with 30 seconds remaining in a 13-13 tie game. Slay’s interception was his second of the season and sixth of his career.

Slay’s interception is the fourth interception this season by the Lions in the final 2 minutes of the fourth quarter. All four interceptions either sealed the Lions win or gave them possession to win the game.

K Matt Prater connected on 3-of-3 field goal attempts and scored 10 of the team’s 16 points in Detroit’s thrilling Thanksgiving Day comeback win. Prater tied the game with a 48-yarder with 1:45 left to play in the game, and he then nailed a game-winning 40-yarder as time expired.


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Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata