Lions rally to defeat Vikings in opener

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 9, 2013 - 12:35 AM

– The scoreboard inside Ford Field indicated the Vikings lost their season opener by 10 points. In reality, the margin of defeat felt like 30.

Adrian Peterson provided a flash bang and momentary giddiness with a 78-yard touchdown run on his first carry of 2013, but the Vikings’ collective performance pretty much fizzled after that en route to a sloppy 34-24 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Frustration flowed inside the locker room afterward, and the Vikings returned home knowing that scrutiny of Christian Ponder is certain to reach overdrive this week after the maligned quarterback provided an unsettling outing reminiscent of 2012.

This was not the encore the Vikings anticipated coming off a playoff season.

“Obviously we’re frustrated with the way we played,” linebacker Chad Greenway said. “You just can’t play that way, that sloppy, and expect to get a win. It just doesn’t work like that.”

Very few positives could be found in the carnage, and the Vikings better regroup quickly because they play in Chicago next week against a Bears team that opened eyes by knocking off the trendy Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

“You start on the road with two division games, you’ve got to win one of them,” Greenway said. “We’ve got to go to Chicago and win next week, which we know how hard that is.”

Especially if they play like they did Sunday. Even more sobering is the fact the Lions did just about everything humanly possible to give the game away in the first half, and the Vikings failed to take advantage.

Ponder’s struggles headline the list of problems as he began his critical third season with a performance that did nothing to calm concerns about his growth and development. Ponder tied his career high with three interceptions and posted a 63.1 passer rating.

His most egregious mistake came late in the second quarter with the Vikings leading 14-6 and in position to possibly enter halftime with a double-digit lead. Ponder rolled to his left under pressure and was hit by Ndamukong Suh on the arm as he released the ball.

Ponder said he intended to throw the ball out of bounds to avoid a sack. Instead, the ball sailed like a baseball popup into the arms of Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch.

The Lions turned that gift into a touchdown in the final seconds and trailed only 14-13 at halftime.

“That was a pivotal point in the ball game,” Frazier said. “We were in field goal range at that point. It was a tough spot, but he was trying to get it out of bounds, was trying to throw it away and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Frazier and Ponder’s teammates defended their quarterback by noting the bevy of mistakes made all around him.

“It wasn’t all Christian,” Frazier said. “We’ve got to play better as a team.”

He’s right on that point. The offensive line failed to create any running lanes for Peterson after his 78-yard touchdown as Detroit’s physical defensive line took control.

And the defense had no answer for Reggie Bush, whose debut in Detroit ended with fans chanting “Reggie! Reggie!” every time he touched the ball. Bush rushed for 90 yards in 21 carries and caught four passes for 101 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown on a screen that gave Detroit a 10-point lead in the third quarter.

“We didn’t do a good job on the screens and the underneath stuff,” Frazier said. “We felt like they would take that approach, and we didn’t handle it very well.”

The Lions rolled up 469 total yards (357 passing by Matthew Stafford), ran 77 plays and won the time-of-possession battle by nearly 13 minutes.

“We couldn’t get off the field,” defensive end Jared Allen said. “At some point, we’ve got to make stops. I don’t know how many 10-play drives or eight-play drives they had, but it was embarrassing. It’s not indicative of who we are.”

The Lions were, well, the Lions in a particularly undisciplined first half. Their blooper reel included a botched hold on a field-goal attempt, three dropped passes, a holding penalty on a fourth-and-1 conversion, a low-block penalty on Suh that negated an interception return for a touchdown, two turnovers and seven penalties.

And the Vikings still only led by one point at halftime.

The Vikings committed two penalties — roughing the passer on Letroy Guion and pass interference on Xavier Rhodes — on third downs that kept alive Detroit’s final scoring drive in the fourth quarter. And Ponder threw an interception on the Vikings final drive.

“Not a good day for us to start out,” right tackle Phil Loadholt said.

 

Chip Scoggins • ascoggins@startribune.com

 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Milwaukee 115 FINAL
Orlando 100
New York 82 FINAL
Indiana 103
Denver 69 FINAL
Memphis 99
Chicago 106 1st OT 0:20
LA Lakers 104
Montreal 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 0
Winnipeg 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Boston 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 3 FINAL
Toronto 1
Dallas 6 FINAL
Ottawa 3
Detroit 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 5
Columbus 2 FINAL
Florida 3
Nashville 4 FINAL(SO)
St. Louis 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Calgary 0
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL
San Jose 6
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 71 FINAL
Rutgers 51
Boston Univ 67 FINAL
Army 71
Fla Atlantic 61 FINAL
Charlotte 86
Youngstown St 87 FINAL
Detroit 93
East Tenn St 55 FINAL
Furman 59
Saint Louis 60 FINAL
George Mason 68
USC Upstate 78 FINAL
Jacksonville 65
High Point 72 FINAL
Liberty 53
Central Conn St 55 FINAL
Long Island 67
Western Ky 56 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 69
Dayton 64 FINAL
Massachusetts 66
Chattanooga 72 FINAL
Mercer 75
Wofford 58 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 42
Maryland 56 FINAL
Ohio State 80
FIU 56 FINAL
Old Dominion 71
Fair-Dickinson 65 FINAL
Robert Morris 87
Mount St Marys 67 FINAL
St Francis-NY 73
Bryant 68 FINAL
St Francis-PA 75
Northern Ky 75 FINAL
Stetson 85
Coll of Charleston 70 FINAL
Towson 74
Western Carolina 85 FINAL
Va Military 70
Sacred Heart 64 FINAL
Wagner 75
Lipscomb 62 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 78
Kennesaw St 67 FINAL
North Florida 86
Appalachian St 46 FINAL
Ga Southern 83
Holy Cross 54 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 64
Eastern Ill 51 FINAL
UT Martin 81
Jacksonville St 82 FINAL
Belmont 103
Connecticut 58 FINAL
Cincinnati 70
Rider 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 49
SIU Edwardsville 75 FINAL
SE Missouri St 61
Marshall 69 FINAL
Southern Miss 54
Tenn Tech 56 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Middle Tennessee 58 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
Ill-Chicago 65 FINAL
Milwaukee 71
Weber State 67 FINAL
North Dakota 60
Denver 54 FINAL
North Dakota St 61
IUPU-Ft Wayne 66 FINAL
South Dakota 55
Louisiana 85 FINAL
South Alabama 89
Ark-Little Rock 75 FINAL
Arkansas State 65
Georgia State 88 FINAL
Texas-Arlington 74
ULM 58 FINAL
Troy 55
Portland 46 FINAL
Gonzaga 64
Kentucky 69 FINAL
Missouri 53
Eastern Ky 78 FINAL
Murray State 85
UAB 69 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 71
Idaho State 76 FINAL
Northern Colorado 79
UMKC 57 FINAL
Grand Canyon 78
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Utah Valley U 78
Colorado 98 FINAL
USC 94
Cal Poly 57 FINAL
UC Irvine 67
Hawaii 84 FINAL
CS-Northridge 73
Pepperdine 50 FINAL
Pacific 43
Santa Clara 64 FINAL
San Diego 69
Utah 59 FINAL
UCLA 69
UC Santa Barbara 64 FINAL
UC Davis 70
Montana 73 FINAL
Portland State 54
Montana State 59 FINAL
Sacramento St 75
Long Beach State 91 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 85
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
St Marys-CA 68
San Francisco 70 2nd Half 1:15
BYU 72
California 68 2nd Half 2:00
Washington St 65
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 77 FINAL
Georgia Southern 74
Niagara 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 65
Old Dominion 80 FINAL
FIU 67
Southern Miss 65 FINAL
Marshall 67
Georgia State 45 FINAL
TX-Arlington 57
Ark-Little Rock 69 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
ULM 51 FINAL
Troy 90
Pittsburgh 45 FINAL
(17) Duke 62
(6) Tennessee 73 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 72
(24) Oklahoma 81 FINAL
(14) Texas 84
Nebraska Omaha 59 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 70
UC-Riverside 68 FINAL
CS-Northridge 56
Army 65 FINAL
Boston U 40
New Orleans 40 FINAL
Nicholls 56
Charlotte 68 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 71
Towson 54 FINAL
Delaware 72
Hofstra 66 FINAL
Northeastern 45
New Hampshire 56 FINAL
Maine 87
Albany 89 FINAL
Vermont 48
Hartford 60 FINAL
Stony Brook 58
UNC-Wilmington 62 FINAL
William & Mary 67
Clemson 62 FINAL
Wake Forest 64
Alabama 54 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 85
(23) Syracuse 58 FINAL
(8) Louisville 78
Missouri 68 FINAL
Florida 52
Iona 66 FINAL
Fairfield 77
Manhattan 38 FINAL
Marist 77
NC State 63 FINAL
Virginia 71
(4) Notre Dame 74 FINAL
Virginia Tech 50
(22) Rutgers 58 FINAL
Purdue 49
(5) Maryland 91 FINAL
Michigan 65
Milwaukee 58 FINAL
Cleveland State 67
Wright State 108 FINAL
Oakland 89
Jacksonville 64 FINAL
USC Upstate 66
North Florida 40 FINAL
Kennesaw St 46
Stetson 62 FINAL
Northern Ky 68
Loyola-Maryland 57 FINAL
Holy Cross 51
Lamar 87 FINAL
Sam Houston St 68
Fla Gulf Coast 71 FINAL
Lipscomb 49
Vanderbilt 44 FINAL
(18) Miss State 69
IUPUI 62 FINAL
Western Ill 73
Abilene Christian 53 FINAL
Houston Baptist 50
Incarnate Word 54 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 63
McNeese State 78 FINAL
SE Louisiana 57
Oral Roberts 46 FINAL
South Dakota St 71
Louisiana Tech 66 FINAL
Western Ky 82
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 73
Texas-El Paso 52 FINAL
UAB 67
Auburn 47 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Grand Canyon 65 FINAL
UMKC 59
Illinois 57 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 59
(20) Iowa 102 FINAL
Northwestern 99
Utah Valley U 55 FINAL
Chicago State 60
Green Bay 67 FINAL
Valparaiso 52
Ole Miss 41 FINAL
LSU 70
Portland State 31 FINAL
Montana 72
Sacramento St 64 FINAL
Montana State 91
North Dakota 55 FINAL
Weber State 48
Ohio State 85 FINAL
Wisconsin 73
Northern Colorado 61 FINAL
Idaho State 70
BYU 68 FINAL
San Francisco 63
St Marys-CA 56 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 49
Pacific 63 FINAL
Pepperdine 59
Cal-Irvine 61 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 58
San Diego 64 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
UC Davis 64 FINAL
Cal Poly 72
Long Beach St 27 2nd Half
Hawaii 38

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close