Vikings linebacker Kendricks still has it. Was there ever any doubt?

Anthony Souffle, Star Tribune/Star Tribune/TNS

The tide began to turn on Daredevil Dan Campbell and his swashbuckling fourth-down calls when Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks proved there's still some life left in a pair of legs that turned 30 this year.

"Absolutely, I still got it," Kendricks laughed Sunday after the Vikings overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Lions 28-24 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Campbell, who has now gone for it on fourth down a whopping 50 times with another whopping 26 conversions in his first 20 games as Lions head coach, was toying with Ed Donatell's defense the same way Philly did in the first half of a 24-7 beatdown six days earlier.

In a span of 14 snaps, Campbell went for it on fourth down three times. The Lions converted each time while scoring two touchdowns to take a 14-0 lead.

There was no reason for Campbell to call on his punter nine minutes later when the Lions fell to 0-for-4 on third-down conversions and faced fourth-and-1 at the Vikings 49-yard line.

The moment begged for someone on defense to make a play, perhaps in coverage since Jared Goff had already completed short passes for 30 yards on fourth-and-5 and 17 yards on fourth-and-1.

"Honestly, the first thing I was thinking there was run," Kendricks said. "I have a lot of respect for their run game after [Sunday]. So I was definitely leaning toward the run, but I also don't know what made me think it might be pass. Probably because we got beat on play-action earlier for a touchdown."

Kendricks was responsible for covering tight end T.J. Hockenson. Hockenson started out blocking. Kendricks stayed on the backside looking for a run.

Then …

"I saw him spin out of the block, and that's when I had to sprint over to get to him," Kendricks said.

Kendricks timed it the way he often does — perfectly. He got a hand on the ball and knocked it loose.

"That was huge because then the offense came out and did its job," Kendricks said of the ensuing 49-yard touchdown drive that changed the game.

Undeterred, Campbell went for it on fourth down a fifth time in the third quarter. A 16-yard completion set up a field goal and a 17-14 lead.

So, naturally, Campbell went for it a sixth time on fourth-and-1 from the Vikings 30 with 3:35 left. Jamaal Williams, who finished with 87 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, was trusted to get the first down up the gut.

"Cam Bynum shot in there first, didn't get the tackle, but that helped," Kendricks said. "Then Danielle [Hunter] got his arms around [Williams]. Then we just brought hats to the pile and drove him back."

Kendricks and Hunter shared the official tackle that again changed the game even though the Vikings gave the ball back on downs on the ensuing possession.

The next time Daredevil Dan faced fourth down, he got the yips, thanks in no small part to Kendricks. He chose to kick a 54-yard field goal with 1:14 left and a kicker who's never made a field goal longer than 53 and had clanked a 48-yarder off the right upright earlier in the game.

Campbell said after the game that he hated the decision, regretted it and "cost our team."

Kendricks finished with 11 tackles and two passes defensed. His final pass defense came one play before Josh Metellus' game-clinching interception in the closing seconds.

Not bad for a guy thumbing his nose at the NFL's Big 3-0, not to mention his supposedly bum big toe, which had him listed as questionable on the injury report heading into the game.

"Oh, man, the legs still feel great," said the former and potentially future first-team All-Pro. "I feel great."