The Detroit Lions are winless no more after beating the Minnesota Vikings 29-27 on Sunday to end weeks of agony and ridicule.

Down four points with four seconds left on the clock, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown caught an 11-yard pass from quarterback Jared Goff in the endzone in front of a relieved home crowd. The Lions are 1-10-1 this season.

“I was proud of our guys, man — they fought,” head coach Dan Campbell told reporters. “They’ve continued to fight all year and it paid dividends today and we found a way to win.”

Campbell dedicated the game ball to the community of Oxford, Michigan, where last week a teenager was charged with first-degree murder in the deadliest U.S. school shooting of the year, which killed four students.

The Lions previously suffered a winless season in 2008, holding the dubious distinction of being the first franchise to do so since the league expanded its schedule to 16 games in 1978.

There were early signs of trouble this year after the team lost all of its preseason games, having traded longtime quarterback Matthew Stafford for Goff in a blockbuster deal earlier this year. Detroit has put up one of the least productive offenses in the league this season.

“It came down to one play and we were able to make it,” said Goff, a former No. 1 overall pick. “We weren’t perfect, but having the ability to overcome mistakes is the sign of a good team.”

The Lions hadn’t won a game since Dec. 6, 2020. They had come close this season, but failed to post a win through their first 11 games — although they managed a tie against Pittsburgh last month to halt a 12-game losing streak.

“Oh, man, I don’t know if I have the words right now,” Goff said in an on-field interview. “We kind of let that thing slip away from us there at the end. There was a lot of feeling around here of it going one way and we made it go the other today.”

The Lions led 23-21 with 4:08 to play when Goff lost the ball on a sack by Vikings linebacker Blake Lynch.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins then piloted a six-yard drive that ended with a pass to Justin Jefferson in the end zone for a touchdown that put Minnesota up 27-23.

Goff responded, guiding a 75-yard, 14-play drive in less than two minutes to give the Lions a last-gasp win.

“It’s huge,” Goff said.

Goff completed 25 of 41 passes for 296 yards with three touchdowns and one interception on Sunday.

“We’ve been just begging for one and when you get one, you feel what it’s like to win,” Goff said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.