Hartman: Sanders thrilled with Lions' dominant play

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 8, 2013 - 11:33 PM

The ex-Gophers and Detroit star has played in and watched many losses to the Vikings, but not Sunday.

hide

Detroit's Reggie Bush had 90 yards rushing and 101 yards receiving against the Vikings on Sunday.

Photo: Brian Peterson, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Charlie Sanders, a former Gopher who will be inducted into the University of Minnesota’s “M” Hall of Fame in October, was a tight end for the Lions from 1968-1977 and has been with the organization in various capacities for 45 years.

Sanders saw the Lions lose 13 in a row to the Vikings in the ’60s and ’70s and 16 out of 17 from 2002 through 2010, and he said that while he expected running back Reggie Bush to improve the team’s offense, he was still surprised to see Detroit move the ball the way it did Sunday in beating the Vikings 34-24.

He was asked if he could remember a Lions team ever dominating the Vikings the way Detroit did on Sunday.

“No, no, no,” Sanders said. “Not like that. Even in the first half, you had the feeling that we were going to win it.”

The Lions posted 28 first downs to the Vikings’ 16 and 469 total yards to the Vikings’ 330.

“[The Lions] ran the ball exceptionally well,” Sanders said. “I thought we were pretty darn good in terms of our offensive line. I did not expect that. I thought Jared Allen [who had the Vikings’ lone sack] and the front four would have a lot of success. I thought our line did a good job. I was surprised.”

Sanders credited Bush, who had 90 yards rushing and 101 yards receiving, for taking the pressure off quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

“Oh, he makes a big difference,” Sanders said. “You know he’s stronger than a lot of people think, he’s a powerful person in spite of speed and agility and all of that stuff. He takes a lot of pressure off of us, especially off of Calvin. He is going to be a big asset. He really showed me more than I expected today, more than I thought he had.”

Bush was with the Dolphins last year, and Sanders said the Lions were hoping he still had some explosiveness left. He removed any doubt about that Sunday.

“Oh yeah, just get it in [Bush’s] hands, and he makes things happen,” Sanders said.

The other big surprise was how the Lions defense stopped the great Adrian Peterson with only 15 yards on 17 carries after he blew by the Lions defense for a 78-yard touchdown run on the Vikings’ first play from scrimmage. Peterson did score three touchdowns, but there were no long runs after his first.

“I don’t want to say that our defense was that great, but I thought that [the Vikings] would have a little more success in the running game,” Sanders said. “They popped us that first play, we had a rookie coming down trying to fill the gap, and Adrian just juked him. I didn’t think our line could hold up, I really didn’t.”

How did the Lions shut down Peterson after the first long run?

“It’s like [Lions coach Jim Schwartz] said, if everybody does exactly what they’re supposed to do, we’re going to be OK,” Sanders said. “They knew exactly what they had to do and everybody was in their spot. Everybody had a gap.”

The two Lions running backs, Bush and Joique Bell, who scored two touchdowns, accounted for 283 of the Lions’ 469 yards.

Still, in all reality, the Vikings actually beat themselves. The Lions forced three interceptions and a lost fumble and scored 14 points off those miscues.

Only short passes

New Mexico State completed 29 of 40 passes for 253 yards in Saturday’s 44-21 loss to the Gophers. But after studying the film, coach Jerry Kill wasn’t concerned.

“They were just throwing quick bubble screens, 2- or 3-yard passes off the option,” Kill said. “They ran the read-option and when you close down the run they just threw little pop passes for 3 or 4 yards, and sometimes you can break a tackle and get more than 3 or 4 yards. But they were just little quick passes that were more like runs than throws.”

If there was any doubt that Philip Nelson is going to be the No. 1 quarterback, the Mankato sophomore proved he has a firm grasp on the starting spot with a great performance against New Mexico State. He completed eight of 15 passes for 127 yards while rushing for 122 yards on 15 carries, including a touchdown.

“He played real well,” Kill said. “You take the one interception where they jumped into Cover-2 and he did the right thing. He went down to his check-down and the ball got tapped up and got picked. If he had been a little bit more patient, then it would have cleared up. But I thought he played really well.”

Jottings

• Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino spoke at length at his news conference for his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame about his desire to play against his son, Richard, and the Gophers in a future ACC/Big Ten Challenge game.

“I think it would be fun,” Rick said. “I played him at FIU [Florida International] and he was totally mismatched, and at least we can play on more equal terms.” About the Gophers, Pitino said: “I think it’s a crown jewel in the Big Ten that just needs to have their facilities upgraded to be every bit as good as any school in the Big Ten, and I think with their new AD [Norwood Teague], I think that’s going to happen. And it is happening.”

• Former Vikings receiver Randy Moss on the team allowing rookie Cordarrelle Patterson to wear his No. 84 jersey: “That’s disrespectful to give a rookie my number,” Moss said on television Sunday. “I don’t really believe in numbers but from a professional standpoint, I did make that number. He hasn’t proven anything yet, but hey, what can I say?”

• While former Vikings receiver Percy Harvin starts the season on the sidelines because of a hip injury for the Seattle Seahawks, another former Viking, Sidney Rice, grabbed two receptions for 35 yards in their Week 1 12-7 victory over Carolina.

• Former Gophers quarterback MarQueis Gray, who is now playing tight end, was inactive for Cleveland in Week 1. Gray was only signed to the Browns’ 53-man roster after being cut by the 49ers last week, so it might take a while for him to get up to speed and be on the active roster.

• A number of former Gophers in the Twins farm system wrapped up their minor league regular seasons: Nate Hanson hit a combined .241 with nine homers and 56 RBI in 121 games split between Class AA New Britain and Class AAA Rochester. … Kyle Knudson hit a combined .287 with two homers and 21 RBI in 57 games split between Class A Fort Myers and New Britain. … Michael Kvasnicka hit .282 with nine homers and 40 RBI in 69 games with Fort Myers. … Adam Pettersen hit .201 with one homer and 15 RBI in 86 games split between Fort Myers and New Britain.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles 7 Top 8th Inning
Chicago Cubs 6
Detroit 3 Bottom 9th Inning
Kansas City 2
Philadelphia 0 Top 1st Inning
Oakland 0
Toronto 1 Top 1st Inning
NY Yankees 0
Arizona 0 Top 1st Inning
Colorado 0
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL 0:00
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 9 3rd Qtr 8:26
Colorado 21
Marshall 31 3rd Qtr 13:54
Akron 3
Louisville 0 Delayed 15:00
FIU 0
North Carolina 13 1st Qtr 4:40
East Carolina 7
Army 7 1st Qtr 0:49
Wake Forest 7
Virginia 7 2nd Qtr
(21) BYU 3
(6) Texas A&M 10 1st Qtr 2:49
SMU 0
Rutgers 7 1st Qtr 2:56
Navy 7
Central Mich 0 1st Qtr 1:17
Kansas 7
Utah 3 2nd Qtr
Michigan 3
Florida 14 1st Qtr 9:20
(3) Alabama 7
Fla Atlantic 0 1st Qtr 12:05
Wyoming 0
Indiana 0 1st Qtr 9:03
(18) Missouri 0
San Jose St 0 1st Qtr 9:45
Minnesota 3
Texas State 0 1st Qtr 13:08
Illinois 6
Massachusetts 0 1st Qtr 10:11
Penn State 0
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 4:00 PM
Portland
Houston 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close