The Minnesota Vikings got off to what can charitably be deemed as a "rocky start" to their 2013 NFL season, dropping a 34-24 decision to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in a game that probably should have been significantly worse than it was.
On the Vikings' first play from scrimmage, Adrian Peterson took a handoff from Christian Ponder and rumbled 78 yards for a touchdown to give the Vikings an early 7-3 lead. Outside of that run, Peterson's other 17 carries on the afternoon netted just 15 yards, though he was responsible for all three Minnesota touchdowns. He had a 4-yard run in the second quarter and a 4-yard reception in the third quarter.
Ponder was. . .well, he was Ponder. He had some moments where he made some decent throws, such as the 44 and 47-yard completions he hit to Jerome Simpson (who finished the afternoon with 140 yards on seven receptions). He also made some inexplicably bad throws, such as one near the end of the first half that he may or may not have been trying to get out of bounds. . .the throw was so terrible that you couldn't really tell for sure. . .that wound up being intercepted by the Lions and led to them getting a touchdown before the half that swung the momentum into their corner. He also had a play where he tripped over guard Brandon Fusco and didn't get the ball to Peterson cleanly, resulting in a fumble that was recovered by Detroit.
The defense for the Vikings, largely, looked awful in this one. They gave up 191 yards to Reggie Bush (101 receiving, 90 rushing), including a 77-yard screen pass where Bush went basically untouched down the center of the field. The defensive line also only managed to sack Matthew Stafford once, despite Detroit starting a brand new left tackle and losing their starting right tackle on the first series of the game. Stafford finished the game with 357 yards through the air, along with two touchdown passes and an interception.
After the game, Adrian Peterson said that he feels that the team can "learn so much from today's game." They'd better learn it quickly. . .they've got another divisional road game next week when they travel to Soldier Field, a place where they haven't won since 2007.
We'll have a more detailed recap of the game here in a little bit. The Vikings have started their 2013 season with a loss, but the season is still young. We'll see what next week brings.