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Vikings Special Teams Knockout Lions in 20-13 Win in Detroit

Last week the Vikings beat up the 49ers with a combination of physical play on both offense and defense.

Sunday in Detroit, it was the play of the special teams, responsible for 14 of the teams 20 points, that led the way as Minnesota moved to 3-1 with a 20-13 win over the Lions.

Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff 105 yards, and Marcus Sherels ran back the first punt of the second half 77 yards for a score, boosting the Vikings to a 20-13 win Sunday – and sending the underachieving Lions into a dubious category all their own.

”It was slow-motion, especially today,” Harvin said. ”That hole opened up, and you probably could have walked through there. The blockers did a great job. They told me all week they were going to do everything they could to get me in the end zone. Special teams was huge today.”

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he and his staff pointed out Detroit’s deficiencies and predicted Harvin would score if everyone held their blocks.

”It was obvious,” Frazier said.

The Vikings defense once again lowered the boom on the Lions and Detroit QB Matthew Stafford, holding the Lions to a touchdown and a pair of field goals on the day.

Stafford threw for 319 yards on 30-of-51 attempts and scored the lone touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run for the Lions (1-3), who have dropped three straight after winning their opener against St. Louis.

Detroit became the first team since at least 1940 to give up a kickoff and a punt return for touchdowns in consecutive games, according to STATS LLC. The Lions allowed scores on a kickoff and punt in last week’s 44-41 loss in overtime at Tennessee.

”We’re good, but we’re garbage right now and we’re killing our team,” kicker Jason Hanson said.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz, though, shot down any chance of him firing special teams coordinator Danny Crossman. ”No, that’s not a consideration,” Schwartz said. ”There’s physical plays we have to make.”

Adrian Peterson had 21 carries for 102 yards and added four catches for 20 yards while Christian Ponder went 16-for-26 with 111 yards for the Vikings.

“It doesn’t get a whole lot better than this,” Frazier said. “To come here on the road and get a win against a divisional opponent is huge. Our guys never blinked and kept making plays when we needed them to make plays.”

For now, the Vikings are off to a great start, with the only loss being at the hands of Andrew Luck and the Colts in the last seconds in Indy. The Vikings have already matched the number of wins of 2011, when they got off to an 0-4 start.

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2 Responses to “Vikings Special Teams Knockout Lions in 20-13 Win in Detroit”

  1. purplereign57 says:

    I knew the Vikings could do it, I knew Percy would do something special, and I knew if we shut down Calvin Johnson (nice hit Harrison), we could win. Next stop, the Titans at home. Still need a good game plan, and a way to stop Smith from running the field like crazy. Their QB is hurt, and they’re going to their backup, so that could help us.

    • purplereign57 says:

      My mistake, I meant to say “a way to keep Chris Johnson from running wild”. I mean Johnson ran up 141 yards on the Texans D last week, and the Texans ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at. The simple fact is that we need to pressure Hasselbeck (if Locker doesn’t go), get him to throw some errant passes, stop Johnson, and get somebody else in the end zone besides Percy Harvin. Jerome Simpson looked pretty good against the Lions, and we need to get Kyle Rudolph back in the game.Also, hitting Adrian and Toby coming out of the backfield with some dump-off stuff wouldn’t hurt, if they get some yards after the catch. Our defensive line has to out-physical their offensive line, and our offensive line has to out-physical their defensive line. And that’s the bottom line.

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