Goodell on stadium: 'It takes time to find those solutions'

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER and MARK CRAIG
  • Star Tribune staff writers
  • December 12, 2011 - 7:53 AM

DETROIT - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met briefly with reporters before Sunday's game at Ford Field, and reporters from the Twin Cities, of course, wanted to know how Goodell felt about the Vikings' ongoing stadium issues.

"I believe the leadership there wants to get it done," Goodell said. "We want to get it done. I know the Wilfs want to get it done. So we'll continue to work with the leadership there to make sure it gets done the right way. Not just for the NFL but for the community."

Asked what his level of concern was now that the Vikings only have two games left under their current lease at the Metrodome with no concrete plans beyond that, Goodell nodded.

"We've been concerned about it for some time," he said. "But identifying those solutions are not easy. It takes time. They're complex projects. They're expensive projects. And they require a public-private partnership. So it takes time to find those solutions. But I think everyone's committed to doing that. So I'm confident we're going to get there."

As for the commissioner's take on much-maligned Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who missed Sunday's game and will return this week after serving a two-game suspension?

"He's an outstanding young man," Goodell said. "He's intelligent. He's passionate. ... I think he's going to be a great player in the NFL for many years to come. I was very impressed by the fact that he wanted to come in 30 days or so ago and take the time with our staff. Players don't do that frequently. And I think that speaks volumes for the kind of guy he is."

Allen tops 100 sacks

The people of Detroit came prepared to boo every time they heard Vikings defensive end Jared Allen's name called. And Allen didn't disappoint them, notching three sacks to give him a career-high 17 1/2 on the season and 100 1/2 in his eight-year career. His previous career high was 15 1/2.

"I'd trade some of them to be going to playoffs," Allen said. "When the season is over, I'll reflect back. But I'm not done. I'm going to try to get some more."

Allen needs 5 1/2 sacks in three games to break the NFL record of 22 1/2 set by Michael Strahan. The Vikings record is 21 set by Chris Doleman in 1989.

Allen drew the ire of Lions fans early last week when he verbally torched the city of Detroit. Among the things he said was, "If I had to live in Detroit, I think I'd just drown myself in the river that was across the way."

Fans gave him an earful Sunday.

"Nothing against the people of Detroit, I just would not want to live here," Allen said. "I am not a city guy. I think one guy said, 'Go drown yourself in the river, please,' and that was kind of funny. Obviously, I would never kill myself."

Harvin shines again

Credit third-year receiver Percy Harvin for his energy and grit the past few weeks. In the past four games, with running back Adrian Peterson sidelined by a high ankle sprain, Harvin has stepped up to supply the Vikings offense with some pop. On Sunday, Harvin had 40 rushing yards and 69 receiving yards, including a 6-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.

Over the past four weeks, Harvin has 484 yards from scrimmage and five scores. He left Detroit on Sunday feeling a strange combination of disappointment and encouragement.

"Even though we've had a failure of a season, we still have a lot of positive things we can look at," Harvin said.

His play is one of the positives.

Rush hour

The Vikings amassed 269 yards on the ground Sunday, averaging 7.7 yards per attempt. Backup quarterback Joe Webb led the way with 109 yards on seven rushes, including an impressive 65-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter.

Toby Gerhart, meanwhile, was solid in his third consecutive start. Gerhart had 19 carries for 90 yards and added three catches for 19 yards. Gerhart's 2-yard touchdown reception from Webb was his first receiving touchdown.


• The Vikings are 0-4 in division games this season, and slow starts have proven to be a major problem. In the first halves of their three NFC North road games, the Vikings were outscored 74-17.

• Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford did most of his damage in the first quarter when he put up 131 of his 227 passing yards. The Lions were conservative with their play-calling after that and Stafford was 11-for-18 over the final three quarters. Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson was targeted only four times and finished with three catches for 29 yards.

• The Vikings outgained Detroit 384-280 and had a 29-13 edge in first downs.

• Wide receiver Stephen Burton left the game in the first quarter because of a knee injury and never returned. He will have a magnetic resonance imaging exam Monday.

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