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NFL: Detroit 34, Minnesota 28

Dec. 11, 2011 at 5:01 PM   |   Comments

DETROIT, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Stephen Tulloch and Alphonso Smith scored defensive touchdowns Sunday and the Detroit Lions held off a last-minute charge to escape Minnesota 34-28.

The Lions (8-5) kept their playoff hopes alive with the victory, snapping a two-game slide.

They built a 31-14 halftime lead when Tulloch recovered a fumble in the end zone only 2 minutes into the game and Smith returned an interception for a score in the second quarter.

But Minnesota then reeled off 14 of the next 17 points and it came down to the game's final play.

Vikings quarterback Joe Webb fumbled with Minnesota only one yard away from the winning score, and Cliff Avril -- whose rush had hurried Webb -- came up with the recovery as time expired.

Matthew Stafford went 20-of-29 through the air for 227 yards, two TDs and no interceptions, with Titus Young and Brandon Pettigrew hauling down the scoring strikes for the Lions.

Webb completed 12-of-23 passes for 84 yards after replacing the ineffective Christian Ponder for Minnesota (2-11), which lost its fifth straight.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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