MINNEAPOLIS >> Matthew Stafford threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate, who vaulted into the end zone in overtime to give the Detroit Lions a 22-16 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
After Matt Prater kicked a 58-yard field goal as time expired to force overtime, Tate finished the opening drive when he ran through arm tackles by Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith and leaped in for the winning score.
Stafford completed 23 of 36 passes for 219 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Lions (5-4), who have won four of their past five games. Tate had 11 catches for 79 yards.
Sam Bradford completed 31 of 40 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings (5-3), who started the season 5-0 but have imploded since coming out of the bye. Stefon Diggs had a career-high 13 catches for 80 yards.
Tyrunn Walker blocked a field goal, Kerry Hyder had two sacks and the Lions stuffed the Vikings on fourth-and-1 at the Detroit 5-yard line in the fourth quarter to keep them in position to rally late.
The Vikings took a 16-13 lead with 23 seconds to play on a 1-yard run by Rhett Ellison, but Stafford hit Seth Roberts for 27 yards to set up Prater’s game-tying kick.
Having won their previous four games by a combined 11 points, being in a nail-biter was nothing new for these Lions.
In overtime, Stafford hit Eric Ebron for 17 yards on third-and-3, Marvin Jones drew a pass interference call on Rhodes and Tate polished off the stunner with a hard-nosed catch-and-run down the sideline.
The Vikings endured a tumultuous week after a dispiriting loss to the Chicago Bears. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner resigned abruptly on Wednesday, coach Mike Zimmer needed eye surgery on Tuesday and guard Alex Boone and linebacker Eric Kendricks were ruled out on Friday because of concussions.
In stepped tight ends coach Pat Shurmur to try to breathe some life into an offense that has been reeling due in large part to injuries and ineffectiveness on the offensive line. They finished with 337 yards and Bradford was only sacked twice after being dropped 11 times in the previous two losses to Philadelphia and Chicago.
The Vikings were in business in the second quarter when Chad Greenway intercepted a rushed throw from Stafford and returned it to the Lions 18-yard line. But the offense committed two penalties and Bradford was sacked on third down to turn a first-and-10 at the 18 to a fourth-and-32 from the Lions 40.
The Vikings punted, and Stafford led the Lions on a marathon 17-play, 84-yard drive that took 9:45 off the clock. He hit Anquan Boldin for a 1-yard score with 5 seconds to play in the half, giving Detroit a 10-3 lead going into halftime.
Vikings kicker Blair Walsh had steadied himself over the previous few weeks after shaky start to the season. But the struggles returned on Sunday. He missed his third extra point of the season — most in the NFL — when he hit the right upright in the third quarter, a miss that prevented the Vikings from tying the score at 10.
Then his 46-yard try in the fourth quarter was blocked by Tyrunn Walker on a kick that appeared to be headed the wrong way from the moment it left his foot.
Lions: CB Darius Slay (hamstring), LB DeAndre Levy (knee, quad) and OT Riley Reiff (illness) did not play.
Vikings: CB Captain Munnerlyn was in and out of the game while dealing with injuries to his right knee and ankle. … PR/CB Marcus Sherels also left the game with a wrist injury in the second quarter.
Lions: Finally take a bye week before hosting Jacksonville on Nov. 20.
Vikings: Visit Washington on Nov. 13.