Every game on Sunday’s NFL schedule — except for one — had implications for either the playoffs or the first overall pick in the draft. That one was Lions-Vikings.
That game was meaningful only to those who will miss the Metrodome, as this was the last NFL game that stadium will ever host. And the game will be remembered for the great performance by Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who wrapped up a sensational rookie season with two touchdowns in a 14-13 win.
The Lions have looked over the second half of the season like they quit on coach Jim Schwartz, and that continued today. The Lions played uninspired football, and they also played dumb football. That was especially true in the realm of clock management: Detroit wasted two second-half timeouts because they couldn’t get the right personnel on the field, timeouts that could have come in handy while they trailed by a point late in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings may have quit on coach Leslie Frazier as well, but at least they have found, in Patterson, a player they can build around for the future.
Both of these teams are thinking about the future, because the present season ended in disappointment.