Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/11/12
Despite their furious comeback attempt in the game’s final 20 minutes, the Detroit Lions fell at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings, 34-24. The Vikings took immediate control of the game in the first half, and led 13-3 at halftime.  Detroit was able to get within six when Matthew Stafford hooked up with Brandon Pettigrew for a 16-yard score, but 16-10 was as close as they got. Despite Detroit’s 21 points in the final 20 minutes, Minnesota had an answer for every Lions score. The Vikings controlled the game on both sides of the ball, operating efficiently from start to finish.  Offensively, quarterback Christian Ponder managed the game effectively, while running back Adrian Peterson gashed Detroit for one big run after another in the second half. Peterson finished the game with 171 yards on the ground, including a 61-yard burst that went for six. While Peterson and the Vikings rushed the ball well, Mikel Leshoure and the Lions gained only 60 yards on the ground.  Minnesota’s ability to run the ball gave them a balanced offensive attack that Detroit lacked. Even though the Lions were able to gain 368 total yards and 23 first downs, the Viking defense was able to get off the field eight out of nine times on third down.  Detroit’s inability to convert third downs put them in a hole that they never dug themselves out of. In addition to all this, the Lions got killed in the field position battle.  The Lions started on their own 20 on average, while the Vikings’ average starting position was their own 39.  The field position battle was in part lost by Lions punter Nick Harris, who averaged just 38 yards per punt.  By comparison, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe averaged 48.6 Stafford’s nice second half couldn’t overcome Peterson and the Vikings yards per. Calvin Johnson was a big-time bright spot for Detroit, gaining 207 yards and a touchdown on a career-high 12 catches.  Stafford once again put together a very nice second half, throwing for three scores, but it was too-little, too-late. Getting dominated in the ground game, not converting third downs, and giving the Vikings a short field with regularity all added up to a ten-point Detroit loss.  The loss drops the Lions to 4-5, now 3.5 games behind the division-leading Bears. The sad truth for Lions fans is that Detroit just wasn’t as good as Minnesota in this one.  They were thoroughly outplayed by a struggling team I expected them to beat. Without defensive starters Louis Delmas, Amari Spievey, and Corey Williams, the Lions’ defense looked toothless.  They allowed Ponder to throw for 221 yards on 24-of-32 passing just a week after he threw for only 63 yards against Seattle.  Tight end Kyle Rudolph had the announcers comparing him to Tony Gonzalez by the end of the game, something that is indicative of the Lions’ defense, not Rudolph’s ‘Gonzalez-like’ skill. To add injury to insult, two more key Lions defenders went down due to injury in this game.  DE Cliff Avril suffered a concussion in the second half, and CB Chris Houston also left the game late with an ankle injury. With this new round of injuries sustained by the Lions, it seems that the mountain ahead of Detroit just got much steeper.  If the Vikings can put together the performance they just did against this Detroit defense, I don’t want to think about what the Packers can do next week.   Follow me on twitter @ScottPeceny
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

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

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

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