Adrian Peterson rushing for a 78-yard touchdown against the Detroit Lions. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Vikings began the season on a sour note against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. If you watched only the first half you would have expected the Vikings to pull away and win the crazy ball game. Unfortunately for Vikings fans this was not the case. The Lions went on to beat the Vikings 34-24, outscoring the Vikings 21-10 in the 2nd half.
Adrian Peterson took his first handoff of the season 78 yards for a score on a well executed block by second year offensive tackle Matt Kalil.
I figured I should share the one shining moment in this game before we discuss the rest of this horrendous performance. Now comes the difficult task of making sense of a performance that was plagued with turnovers, poor tackling, and lack of discipline.
Starting at the quarterback position, Christian Ponder had a day to forget. He threw for 236 yards and a touchdown, but threw three interceptions, including one that put the game out of reach for Minnesota. All of his interceptions were tipped at some point in the attempt, but the decision to make some of those throws weren’t necessary; Ponder could have thrown the ball away or taken a sack.
It seemed as if he was trying to do to much. This may be the reason he also fumbled on a botched handoff to AP. Ponder accounted for all four of the team’s turnovers in the game. After watching Ponder play Sunday I realized that he may not be ready to put the franchise on his shoulders and lead the team to a Super Bowl.
The struggles weren’t only on offense, the defense looked below average in the second half. Recently-acquired Lions running back Reggie Bush gashed the defense on many occasions, including a 77-yard touchdown reception where the defense seemed to forget how to tackle. Bush finished the game with 191 total yards of offense. The defense nearly gave up 500 total yards to the Lions and missed what seemed like a thousand tackles.
The thing that got me fired up the most: the low hit on Vikings center John Sullivan by Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh early in the second quarter. Suh was flagged for an illegal chop block on an interception return that would have been a touchdown. This should get the team fired up for their next matchup with Detroit in Minnesota week 17. Despite being well behind the play as DeAndre Levy entered the endzone untouched, Suh still made a low block from the side, hence the 15-yard flag.
The good news: it is only week one so we have to do our best as fans to not look too deep into the first game of the season. The bad news: we will all be restless until the team gets on track. This goes for Vikings players just as much as fans; good luck sleeping this week.
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