Postgame snapshot from Mall of America Field where the Vikings beat the Lions 34-24
Good news: Making his NFL debut, Jarius Wright didn’t wait long to make his presence felt. On his second play in the NFL, the rookie receiver raced down the middle of the field to haul in a 54-yard completion from Christian Ponder. Two snaps later, Wright’s second catch was a 1-yard touchdown grab that put the Vikings ahead to stay. That early deep connection was huge for Ponder to keep the potential boo birds subdued and it was part of a first quarter in which the Vikings quarterback went 6-for-7 for 57 yards as the Vikings sprinted out to a 10-0 lead. Also encouraging for the Vikings was the bounce-back effort by its run defense, which limited Lions back Mikel Leshoure to 43 yards on 13 carries and held Detroit to 60 rushing yards for the game.
Bad news: The Vikings’ attempt to neutralize Lions receiver Calvin Johnson didn’t pay off. Johnson had 12 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown. The Vikings also squandered too many opportunities to feel totally at ease about their offense’s ability to capitalize. After Chad Greenway’s first-quarter interception set the Vikings up with possession at the Detroit 25, the offense lost 5 yards on the ensuing series and settled for a field goal. They also settled for Blair Walsh field goals on two other trips into the red zone, including one late in the third where they were unable to reach the end zone after a Ponder to Devin Aromashodu 31-yard grab produced first-and-goal at the 3.
Extra point: Adrian Peterson went over 1,000 rushing yards for the season on a short gainer early in the third quarter. That have Peterson his team-record fifth 1,000-yard season in six years in the league. But Peterson saved his biggest fireworks for when the Vikings most needed them. With a 24-17 lead in the fourth quarter, Peterson’s 61-yard touchdown run with 8:06 left was effectively the game-sealer. Peterson rushed for 171 yards on 27 carries and now has 1,128 yards for the season
Next up: The Vikings will have Week 11 off for their bye, then return to action on Nov. 25 in Chicago. The Bears, who currently lead the NFC North division at 7-1, host Houston tonight on “Football Night in America.”