MINNEAPOLIS — Matthew Stafford says he would like to avoid being down late in the fourth quarter at all costs.
The Lions quarterback sure looks comfortable in those situations this season. Maybe because he has had plenty of practice.
Stafford threw a 28-yard touchdown to Golden Tate, who vaulted into the end zone in overtime to give Detroit a 22-16 victory over the Vikings on Sunday.
After the Lions' Matt Prater kicked a 58-yard field goal as time expired in the fourth to force overtime, Tate finished the opening drive when he ran through the arm tackles of cornerback Xavier Rhodes and safety Harrison Smith and leaped in.
"Our guys have been able to do it. Not just do it once or twice, they've been able to do it a number of times," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said of his team's ability to come back from fourth-quarter deficits in all five of their wins.
"I do think they have the level of comfort with it. It's a tough situation to be in, but they don't flinch, and we haven't had any crucial mistakes in that period of time."
The Lions have won four of five. The Vikings started 5-0 but have lost three straight since coming out of the bye.
"For the first time in three weeks this team fought like I expected them to fight," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. "If we continue to do these kinds of things, we'll win football games."
Tyrunn Walker blocked a field goal, defensive end Kerry Hyder had two sacks and the Lions stuffed the Vikings on fourth and 1 at the Detroit 5 in the fourth quarter.
In overtime, Stafford hit tight end Eric Ebron for 17 yards on third and 3, receiver Marvin Jones drew a pass interference call on ex-FSU star Rhodes and Tate polished it off with a hard-nosed catch-and-run, getting hit by safety Andrew Sendejo as he leaped into the end zone. "It was kind of planned," Tate said of his flip. "He just kind of accelerated it a little bit."