Postgame snapshot from Ford Field where the Lions beat the Vikings 34-28.
Good news: At least the Vikings’ two biggest playmakers showed up this afternoon. Defensive end Jared Allen had three first-half sacks and now has 17.5 sacks for the season. He needs five more over the season’s final three games to tie Michael Strahan’s single-season NFL record. Allen went over 100 sacks for his career with a second quarter takedown of Matthew Stafford. Offensively, Percy Harvin provided a spark with 109 yards from scrimmage and a 6-yard touchdown catch late in the first half. We’d also be remiss not to give Joe Webb his due credit. He led two second-half touchdown drives, showing off his eye-opening athleticism on a 65-yard touchdown run and keeping the Vikings in the game to the final play.
Bad news: Christian Ponder may have been healthy enough to start this afternoon. But the Vikings may have been better off in Ponder had taken the week off. The rookie quarterback had an atrocious afternoon and the misery started right away. On the Vikings’ first snap, Ponder was hit and stripped by Cliff Avril and Detroit’s Stephen Tulloch recovered the fumble in the end zone for a Lions touchdown. Ponder also threw three interceptions, one returned 30 yards for a score by Detroit’s Stephen Tulloch. Ponder was 11-for-21 for 115 yards on the day with TD tosses to Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe. But he was yanked from the game for good midway through the third quarter, replaced by Webb.
Extra point: Stafford threw for 131 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter, connecting on a 57-yard scoring strike to Titus Young and a 12-yard TD to Brandon Pettigrew. But once the Lions built a sizable first half lead, they became conservative with their playcalling. Stafford had 11 completions for 96 yards in the final three quarters.
Next up: The Vikings will host the Saints at Mall of America Field next Sunday. New Orleans sits atop the NFC South and held off Tennessee 22-17 this afternoon to improve to 10-3.