Man, that's an outstanding picture of Percy Harvin's touchdown catch, isn't it? (And yes, the picture caption is kind of corny, but it was either that or "I believe I can fly," and I am certainly NOT going all R. Kelly on everybody.)
For some reason, the sun always seems to shine brighter, food always seems to taste better, and things seem to be a bit better after the Vikings win than they are after a Minnesota loss. I know full well that I'm not the only person that experiences this phenomenon. Many of the Vikings' critics will be quick to jump on the "yeah, but it was Detroit" wagon, as is their custom, but I'll tell you. . .these aren't the same old "pushover" Lions that we're used to. There's a lot of talent on that team, to be certain, and it's young talent at that. But the Vikings, despite the more recent press clippings, are still a pretty darn talented team in their own right, and they just had too much for the Lions this afternoon.
The Vikings started out the afternoon absolutely on fire, as they forced three consecutive three and outs, allowing the Lions to only gain 13 yards on their first nine plays from scrimmage. However, on the first play of Minnesota's third drive, Brett Favre thew an ugly, ugly screen pass that was intercepted by his former Green Bay teammate, Corey Williams. The big defensive tackle rumbled to the Minnesota 12, and even the Vikings' red-hot defense couldn't stop them from there, as Shaun Hill found Tony Scheffler on a five-yard pass to give the Lions an early 7-0 lead.
After Minnesota's next series went three-and-out, the Lions decided to return the favor when punt returner Stefan Logan worried more about getting hit than he did about catching the ball, and put it on the turf. Chad Greenway jumped on the loose ball for the Vikings, and on the very next play Favre hit Percy Harvin for the touchdown you see depicted above. I thought for sure that Favre had overshot Percy on that throw, but Harvin laid out and made a beautiful catch to pull the Vikings even.
The Vikings then allowed the Lions a pretty decent drive, but it stalled out when the normally reliable Jason Hanson hooked a 44-yard field goal attempt wide to the left, and the Vikings took over with decent field position. A good mix of short passing and Adrian Peterson running led the Vikings put together one of their better drives of the young season. Facing a third and one from the Detroit six-yard line, Peterson took the handoff from Favre and blasted through the middle of the line for a six-yard score. Ryan Longwell's extra point made the score 14-7, and gave the Vikings their first lead since early in the third quarter of Week One.
The Vikings looked to be driving again near the two-minute warning, but Detroit defensive end Cliff Avril sped around Phil Loadholt. . .who got absolutely murdered out there all day long, but we'll get to that through the week. . .and hit Favre's hand as he was throwing the ball. The result was a high floater that was pulled down by Alphonso Smith for another interception, and the Lions set up shop near midfield. However, some good Viking defense mixed with some relatively terrible clock management by Detroit left them to settle for a 33-yard Hanson field goal, and the score was 14-10 going into the locker room.
The Vikings added to their lead at the start of the third quarter, driving downfield to get Ryan Longwell into range for a 31-yard field goal to increase their lead to seven, 17-10. The Lions moved into Minnesota territory, but were forced to punt, and the Vikings began from their own 20-yard line.
If I may borrow a line from the Supremes. . .and then it happened.
What happened? This happened.
(Yes, a Motown-era music reference. . .my dad ought to be pleased as hell.)
That run was the longest of Adrian's career, eclipsing his previous long of 73 that he had back in the original "Adrian Peterson Game" against Chicago in 2007. Like "Moose" Johnston said in the highlight, Lions' safety C.C. Brown had him dead to rights for about a three-yard gain, but AP simply wasn't having any of that nonsense on this day. The run made Minnesota's lead 24-10 and, since you read the headline to the story, that's pretty much where the scoring stayed.
The Lions managed a couple of decent drives late in the game, but the Viking defense held firm and managed their first two interceptions of the season. . .the first by Ben Leber, and the second by Antoine Winfield. The Viking defense held the Lions to 295 yards of offense, and the teams were actually even in the turnover battle. (Rookie Toby Gerhart lost a fumble for the Vikings after the scoring had concluded.) The Vikings' NFL rankings in both yards allowed (they were allowing 308.5 yards/game in the first two games) and points allowed (after allowing 14 in each of the first two weeks) will both improve this week, which is always a nice sign.
So there you go, Viking fans. . .let's celebrate this one and prepare for. . .a bye? Damn it to hell. . .okay, prepare for me using the next week to express how much I despise having a bye this early. And a lot more stuff about the Vikings, too. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, folks!