The only time that Sunday's game felt competitive was when the Lions scored a touchdown to close within four points of the Vikings with 9 minutes, 37 seconds left in the first half.
The feeling lasted 14 seconds.
That's how long it took Vikings rookie Aundrae Allison to break the 42-year-old record for the longest play in franchise history. His 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown put the Vikings on top 21-10 en route to a 42-10 victory, and surpassed former Viking Lance Rentzel's 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Baltimore Colts on Nov. 14, 1965.
"That was a back-breaker, dagger-in-the-heart kind of thing for Detroit," Vikings special teamer Vinny Ciurciu said. "It was a thing of beauty."
Despite a team-leading 32.6-yard average on seven attempts before Sunday, Allison was a backup to Troy Williamson at kick returner. Williamson was inactive Sunday, setting up the first touchdown by a No. 84-clad Viking since a guy named Moss was wearing the number back in 2004.
It was Allison's ninth career kickoff return, three of which were 60 yards or longer. Not bad for a fifth-round draft pick who didn't return kickoffs at East Carolina or even play football until his junior year at A.L. Brown High in Kannapolis, N.C.
"He's a talented kid," Ciurciu said. "And the return we had set up was perfect for the coverage they had set up."
The Lions originally gave their onside kick look, shifting extra cover men to the Vikings' left side of the field. The Vikings set up for a "bounce right" return, which called for Allison to start up the middle and bounce to his right. When Allison saw the Lions' alignment, he knew he was going to return the kick, even if he caught it in the end zone.
"I knew it was going to be a big return or a touchdown," Allison said. "One or the other."
Allison got a nice block from Ciurciu, among others, that allowed him to make a clean bounce. Kicker Jason Hanson had the best chance to make a tackle, but Allison juked him off balance at the Detroit 48.
"I had a similar thing happen to me last time we played Detroit," said Allison, who also caught two passes for 52 yards. "I had a 60-yard return and the kicker tackled me. That's all that was going through my mind. I didn't want to be watching the game film on Monday and hear the guys saying I should have scored again. So I had to score."
And with that, teammate Robert Ferguson sneaked up behind Allison and poured orange Gatorade over Allison's head. "Good job out there today," Ferguson told the rookie.