After being on the losing end of a few game-winning plays, the winless Detroit Lions finally got to enjoy a walk-off of their own on Sunday.
Facing a fourth-and-2 from the Minnesota Vikings' 11-yard line with four seconds remaining, quarterback Jared Goff found rookie wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown for a touchdown as time expired, giving the Lions a 29-27 advantage and their first victory of the 2021 NFL season.
The score capped off a 14-play, 75-yard drive engineered by Goff in the final 1:50 of the game, and helped the now 1-10-1 Lions avoid yet another heartbreaking loss.
Detroit reeled off 20 second-quarter points to take a commanding 20-6 lead into halftime. But the Lions only put up a field goal over their first five second-half possessions, while the Vikings scored points on four of their five drives after the break.
A questionable decision by first-year Lions head coach Dan Campbell to go for it on fourth-and-1 from Detroit's own 28 late in the fourth quarter, which resulted in a strip-sack of Goff, set up the Vikings for a go-ahead score. Kirk Cousins hit Justin Jefferson for a three-yard touchdown to put Minnesota ahead 27-23 with under two minutes remaining.
Campbell's aggressiveness ultimately didn't cost Detroit the game, as he was finally able to celebrate his first victory as an NFL head coach thanks to the late heroics from Goff and St. Brown.
The Lions lost their first eight games before tying with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10, taking the potential first 0-17 season in NFL history off the table. But the Lions were still in danger of recording the franchise's second winless season in the Super Bowl era. Detroit was the first team to go 0-16, doing so in 2008.
After the tie with Pittsburgh, the Lions dropped their next two games by three and two points, giving them five one-score losses on the season. One of those close losses came against the Vikings back in Week 5 when kicker Greg Joseph drilled a 54-yard game-winning field goal as time expired, causing Campbell to shed tears postgame.
If Campbell sheds any tears on Sunday, they will be happy ones.