Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/13/12
Detroit has worked hard over the last four games to overcome a 1-3 start. They went to Minnesota carrying a 4-4 record and hopes of getting above the .500 mark for the first time in 2012.The Minnesota Vikings roared out of the gate, starting 4-1 and surprising everyone. Quarterback Christian Ponder was leading the charge, helped by a rejuvenated and motivated Adrian Peterson, who sought to prove to everyone that he has fully recovered from the devastating knee injury he suffered against the Washington Redskins last season.In the last four games, the wheels have come off of the Vikings bandwagon. They have gone 1-3 as Ponder struggles with more interceptions than touchdowns with a completion percentage hovering around 50 percent.Rushing defense has fallen apart for Minnesota as well; they have gone from allowing 79 yards per game and one rushing touchdown over five games, to a ghastly 166 yards per game with six touchdowns allowed on the ground in the last four games.The slogan for this game? The good old proverbial "Something's Gotta Give".Today's game offered some of the brightest, most exciting offensive players the National Football League has to offer. Predictably, these are the stars for the Lions and Vikings, respectively.Detroit's aerial combination of quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson did not disappoint.Stafford finished with 329 yards passing with three touchdowns, but one interception. In the game, Stafford completed 28 out of 42 passes.Johnson had a dream day for Fantasy Football players, catching twelve passes for 207 yards and a score.The Vikings have Adrian Peterson, arguably the best halfback in the league right now. He has had some phenomenal games so far this year, including Sunday's game. How does 171 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown strike you? Not too shabby, am I right?Then there is the heavily analyzed, overly criticized Christian Ponder. So much has been made of his poor performances lately. In fact, one has to wonder if any sportswriters out there ever come to his defense. Proving his critics wrong, and showing everyone that he was just in a brief slump. (something that happens to sophomore quarterbacks, see: Cam Newton) In the game, Ponder threw 24 completions on 32 attempts, two touchdowns and ZERO interceptions.The Vikings won this game 34-24, despite a furious offensive effort by Detroit.Five Things Learned From This Game:1) Kyle Rudolph is on his way to becoming an elite tight end.  The second year tight end has doubled his touchdown total and exceeded his yardage and receptions total from 2011 in just ten games.2) Adrian Peterson may set the single season rushing yardage record.   Over the last four games, including Sunday, Peterson is averaging 157,2 yards per game. After doing the math, if he keeps up that exact average over the next six games, he'll have 2,071 for the season. He can easily spread the extra 35 yards he would need to break the 2,105 set by Eric Dickerson.3) Lions defensive end Cliff Avril: A Prophet of Doom?   'Doom' may be a bit harsh, but prior to the game against the Vikings, Avril was quoted saying this game is (was) a 'must win'. This quote from Avril is from his official blog on blogs.DetroitLions.com: “In order to get in the playoffs or to be talking about postseason, we need this win. We definitely need the win to get things rolling. The competition is stiff."4) As always, it comes down to who has more turnovers.   Despite 207 yards receiving, despite twelve catches and a touchdown, Johnson's fumble in the fourth quarter meant that instead of driving for a touchdown to make it a one score game, the Vikings took the ball as well as any momentum the Lions had built. Minnesota then essentially shut the door on a Lions comeback with a 33-yard field goal that made the score 34-24, which ended up being the final.5) Detroit and the Miami Dolphins share a similar pain.   The Dolphins have not had a franchise quarterback since Dan Marino retired in 1999. They've searched and drafted and signed free agents, but nobody's stepped up. This year, they've pinned their hopes to Ryan Tannehill.Detroit, meanwhile, has not had a franchise RUNNING BACK since Barry Sanders retired in 1999. They have also searched and drafted and signed free agents, but no success. Their most recent 'Barry replacement' was Jahvid Best and he's turned out to be a bust.Matthew Stafford can throw for 6,000 yards n a season, but he will go absolutely nowhere unless Detroit gets, if not one franchise running back (see: Adrian Peterson) then at least a two or three headed monster backfield (see: plenty of teams do this, pick one).
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

Sheldon Richardson says Jets locker room is better without Brandon Marshall

What's next for the Spurs?

Pro Football Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy dies at 48

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker