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(Sunday, January 2nd)
Final Score: Detroit 20, Minnesota 13
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Shaun Hill threw for 258 yards and a score as the Detroit Lions took a 20-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings in what may have been the last game of Brett Favre's career.
However, Favre went out with a whimper instead of a bang as the Minnesota quarterback sat out the season finale.
Favre suffered a concussion two weeks ago against Chicago and missed last Tuesday's snow-delayed game against Philadelphia. While he reportedly passed a concussion test this weekend, the Vikings still listed him as inactive for the final game of the season.
The 41-year-old future Hall of Famer has indicated that this season will be his last, although he's already come back from a pair of brief retirements.
"I'd like to thank the NFL, the Vikings, my teammates, the fans, it's been a wonderful experience for me," said Favre. "This year did not work out the way we hoped, but that's football. I enjoyed my experience here and my teammates and it goes without saying that the fans have been absolutely wonderful. It's been a great ride for me."
Hill went 28-for-39 with an interception while Nate Burleson finished the game with six catches for 83 yards and a score for the Lions (6-10), who ended the season with their first four-game winning streak since the 1999 season.
"We wanted to play these last four games the way we wanted to be known," said Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz. "We knew we were going to have to play tough games on the road in December and if you want to be a good team you have to do that. We did that and this positive end to the season is something we can take with us into next season and build on."
Joe Webb made his second straight start in place of Favre and went 20-for-32 with 148 yards and an interception for the Vikings (6-10), who dropped three of their final four games of the season.
The two teams finished tied for the bottom spot in the NFC North.
"We catapulted ourselves into the 2011 season with the way we finished," said Hill. "This will prepare us for the future and make us a better team."
In other Minnesota news, the club is expected to name interim head coach Leslie Frazier as the full-time head coach either Monday or Tuesday, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. He took over the coaching duties on November 22 after Brad Childress was fired and guided the team to a 3-3 mark to close out the season.
"I'm proud of the way my team fought and finished this season," said Frazier. "Of course there are things we could have done better, but they gave it their all through the end. Hopefully this hard work will continue next season and we will enjoy more success."
Detroit drove to the Minnesota eight-yard line on its first possession, but Tony Scheffler fumbled a catch and Jamarca Sanford recovered to stop the drive.
After another exchange of punts, Webb was picked off by Amari Spievey to give Detroit the ball back at its own 31. After eight plays that saw the team move the ball 32 yards, Dave Rayner booted a career-long 55-yard field goal to give Detroit a 3-0 lead with 6:45 left in the first half.
Following a three-and-out, Minnesota pinned Detroit at its own six, but it didn't faze the Lions as the team marched the length of the field to take a 10-0 lead into the break.
Hill converted four third downs on the drive to get a first down at the Minnesota 28. The next play saw Hill hit Burleson for 15 yards and, after Detroit's third timeout, Scheffler caught a pass for 11 yards. With time winding down, Hill found Burleson in the right side of the end zone for a score with 23 seconds left in the half.
Detroit started the second half with the ball and used the possession to put three points on the board as Rayner capped the 11-play, 47-yard march with a 37-yard field goal for a 13-0 lead with 9:58 left in the third.
Minnesota was again forced to punt and got the ball back at its own 35, but the Vikings defense came up with a play as Jared Allen picked off a short pass from Hill over the middle and rumbled down the left sideline for a 36-yard score to make it a 13-7 game with 6:03 left in the third.
Following a three-and-out from Detroit, the Vikings marched 52 yards over 12 plays and got a 27-yard field goal from Ryan Longwell to make it a three-point game with 12:05 to play.
Detroit, though, answered to extend its margin once again to two scores. The first play saw Hill send a deep pass down the left sideline for Burleson, who caught the ball for a 33-yard play. That helped set up a five-yard touchdown run by Maurice Morris around left tackle for a 20-10 lead with 9:29 left.
Minnesota got a 48-yard field goal from Longwell just after the two-minute warning to make it a one-score game, but Detroit recovered the onsides kick to kill any hope of a Minnesota comeback.
Minnesota finished the season 2-6 on the road while Detroit went 4-4 in front of its home crowd...Minnesota had won six straight against Detroit and is still 16-2 against the Lions since 2002...Detroit totaled 357 yards compared to just 214 for Minnesota...Minnesota star running back Adrian Peterson had just 31 yards on 14 carries. He finished the campaign with 1,298 yards and 12 scores over 283 carries...Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had six tackles and a sack in the game to finish his rookie campaign with 66 tackles, 10 sacks and an interception.
01/02 18:13:01 ET
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