What was starting to look like a promising first week for the Vikings was stopped by major mistakes from the team, including Christian Ponders three interceptions and fumble. But it was not all Ponder who was struggling; both sides of the ball shows were not impressive.
But as usual Adrian Peterson was the shining star in an otherwise mediocre showing for the Vikings. He scored a 78 yard run touchdown the first time he was handed the ball this season. The Vikings got the ball on its 22 after the Lions flubbed a field goal attempt. Peterson took a handoff, found an opening up the middle, cut to the right to avoid a tackler and then was able to outrun the secondary all the way to the end zone.
He was also able to add a 4-yard TD run in the second quarter.
But it wasn’t just Peterson who was a must see at Ford Field. Newly acquired Reggie Bush was all over the field as he made his debut today. The Lions made adding the former Miami and New Orleans running back a priority. And he was able to show why that was the right decision right away. He ran 21 times for 90 yards and caught four passes for 101 yards and a score, proving the eight-year veteran still has plenty of gas in his tank.
Joique Bell ran for two TDs, including a go-ahead score that gave the Lions their first lead early in the third quarter.
Matthew Stafford was 28 of 43 for 357 yards with two TDs, including a 1-yard throw to rookie tight end Joseph Fauria with 6:47 left and what ended the any chance of a comeback for the Vikings. Calvin Johnson was held to four catches for 37 yards and had a TD negated by review because he appeared to lose control of the football in the end zone.
Ponder was 18 of 28 for 236 yards with a 4-yard TD pass to Peterson that got them within three late in the third quarter. Jerome Simpson had seven receptions and 140 yards receiving for the Vikings.
The Lions finished strong, outscoring the Vikings 28-10 after an awful start.
Detroit botched a field-goal attempt on the opening drive when rookie holder Sam Martin dropped a perfect snap and one snap later, Peterson managed to run through a hole, shifted his shoulders to the left — prompting rookie defensive back Darius Slay to do a face plant into the turf — juked to the right and outraced the rest of the defense on the fourth-longest run of his career.
After choosing to kick on a fourth-and-1, Detroit coach Jim Schwartz went for it with the same down and distance on their next drive only to have Bell’s fourth-down run negated by Brandon Pettigrew’s holding penalty, forcing him to settle for another field goal.
The Lions looked as if they were going to take their first lead two snaps later when linebacker DeAndre Levy returned an interception for a TD, but Ndamukong Suh was called for an illegal low block against center John Sullivan, who was well behind the play, and Stafford threw an interception on the next play.
But the Vikings took advantage on the ensuing drive, going ahead 14-6 on Peterson’s short burst after running through Slay’s right arm.
Martin then shanked a punt — adding a miscue to another phase of the game for Detroit — and Lions defensive back Bill Bentley dropped what would’ve likely have been an interception for a score.
Pettigrew fumbled on another drive in the second quarter before Ponder gave the ball back with another interception. The Lions made the most of the opportunity, thanks to a rule that went their way.
Bell leaped over a pile and extended his arms with the football that was jarred loose by the Vikings, but video review showed the ball got to the goal line. Bell’s spinning, 1-yard run — one play after Bush’s TD was overturned by review — in the third quarter gave the Lions their first lead and they rolled to a relatively easy win.
The Vikings (0-1) lost an NFC North road game that they should have won considering how miserable the Lions (1-0) played, especially in the first half. But for whatever reason they had no answer for Reggie Bush and Detroit’s short passing game, which accounted for huge chunks of yardage in the middle of their coverage.
Up next for the Vikings is at Chicago Bears on noon Sunday, KMSP-TV, KFXN-FM 100.3