The second quarter got off to an interesting start, to say the least.
The Lions went for it on 4th-and-1 and picked up the necessary yardage, but a holding penalty on Brandon Pettigrew negated it and forced the Lions to settle for David Akers' second field goal of the day. That cut the score to 7-6.
The teams then exchanged interceptions. Christian Ponder went first, after hitting Jerome Simpson on a slant that deflected to linebacker DeAndre Levy. The play would have gone for a touchdown. . .but an absolute cheap shot on a low block from Ndamukong Suh negated the touchdown and brought it back.
On the Lions' first play after the interception, Fred Evans deflected a Matthew Stafford pass, and it fell into the hands of Erin Henderson, giving the Vikings the ball back. The Vikings got themselves into scoring position thanks to a 44-yard pass from Ponder to Simpson, who attoned for his earlier deflection that led to the turnover. From there, Peterson handled it again, going over from four yards out to give the Vikings a 14-6 lead.
The teams exchanged punts after that. A lot of punts. Then they exchanged turnovers again, as Brandon Pettigrew fumbled a catch deep in Vikings territory when it looked like the Lions might close the gap. Then, after moving the ball a decent ways down the field, Christian Ponder threw an inexplicably dumb pass where his arm got hit, floating it into the arms of linebacker Stephen Tulloch. Seriously, Ponder had no business making the throw he was trying to make.
Then, on the Lions final drive of the half, running back Joique Bell went over from two yards out, but the ball got knocked out of his hands just as he got to the goal line. It was first ruled a fumble recovered by Minnesota, but the referees went under the hood and called it a Detroit touchdown (which, unfortunately, was the correct call). That allowed the Lions to cut the lead to 14-13, and that's where we stand going into the locker room.
Adrian Peterson had 78 yards on his first run from scrimmage, but since then has had seven carries for -8 yards. Ponder has completed 6-of-9 passes for 103 yards and the two interceptions. Matthew Stafford is 18-of-28 for 201 yards thus far, while Reggie Bush has carried the ball 12 times for 51 yards for Detroit.
It has been a wild and crazy first half, and the Vikings have a 14-13 lead. Minnesota will receive the second half kickoff, and can hopefully get their offense on the right track. The Lions held the ball for nearly 21 minutes of the first half. . .that trend can't continue for the Vikings if they want to leave Detroit with a victory.
We thank you for hanging out with us for this opener of the 2013 NFL season. Hopefully the second half will be better for Minnesota than the first half was.