Postgame snapshot from Ford Field in Detroit where the Vikings beat the Lions 20-13 to improve to 3-1.
Good news: The Vikings special teams delivered an impressive effort all day. Start with Percy Harvin who opened the game with a 105-yard kick return for a touchdown, the longest kickoff return score in franchise history. Early in the second half, Marcus Sherels added to the fun with a 77-yard punt return for a score. Don’t forget rookie kicker Blair Walsh, who not only made field goals of 49 and 27 yards but also forced touchbacks on all five of his kickoffs. Punter Chris Kluwe had just an OK day; but his 52-yard punt in the final minute of the first half with Jamarca Sanford stopping Stefan Logan for a 1-yard loss on the return was big in helping the Vikings retain momentum going into halftime. Kluwe’s final punt of the day, a 47-yader with 1:42 left, was downed at the Detroit 2.
Bad news: On a day during which Adrian Peterson (21 carries, 102 yards) ran with impressive burst, the offense never did get into a consistent rhythm. Sure, there were a pair of field goal drives in the first half. But the Vikings’ offense didn’t score a touchdown, punting six times on nine possessions. Walsh also missed a 46-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter after another Vikings’ drive stalled.
Extra point: The Vikings have reached the quarter-point of the season with a 3-1 record and now charge into an October portion of the schedule that seems friendly on paper. Three of the team’s four games next month will be home games: next week against Tennessee, Oct. 21 versus Arizona and Oct. 25 versus Tampa Bay. The lone road game in October is a Week 6 trip to Washington. With that set-up, it’s not unimaginable that the Vikings will be above .500 at the midway point of the season.
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