Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings: Final Grades & Analysis for Minnesota

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Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings: Final Grades & Analysis for Minnesota

In a game they simply had to win heading into their bye week, the Minnesota Vikings came through in all phases of the game Sunday, defeating the Detroit Lions 34-24 and moving to 6-4 on the season.

Adrian Peterson has moved past Percy Harvin and is once again the Vikings best player, dominating the Lions to the tune of 171 yards rushing and a back-breaking 61-yard touchdown run.

The roller-coaster ride of a season continues for Minnesota, who had looked awful for the past month before coming out and playing four solid quarters against the Lions.

Christian Ponder, playing in the most important game of his career, played almost mistake free, tossing two touchdowns and no interceptions.

The defense did a great job against the league's leading pass offense, giving up yards, but coming up with 2 huge turnovers that killed any momentum the Lions could muster.

Final Score: 

Minnesota Vikings 34 Detroit Lions 24

Stay with us for fourth quarter grades and then Final grades and analysis to follow.

In a stat that nobody would believe, Matthew Stafford just threw his first touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson this season.

Johnson takes a short completion and extends his long arms over the goal line for an 11-yard touchdown to keep the Lions small hopes alive.

Minnesota Vikings 34 Detroit Lions 17

Calvin Johnson coughs up the football after a 20-yard gain and Antoine Winfield recovers it at the Lions 45 yard line.

Peterson's 21-yard run puts the Vikings in field goal territory.

Blair Walsh drills it from 33 yards to put the Vikings 17 points up.

Minnesota Vikings 31 Detroit Lions 17

The Detroit Lions might have Megatron, but the Minnesota Vikings have Superman.

Adrian Peterson rips off a 61-yard touchdown run when the Vikings need it most, putting the Vikings up by 14 points halfway through the fourth quarter. 

Peterson broke through the line in the middle of the field and made a great cut to the outside and set sail down the sidelines, outrunning the Lions d-backs on his way to the end zone. 

Minnesota Vikings 24 Detroit Lions 17

The starter's gun seems to have gone off at Mall of America Field.

The Lions come up huge on offense, answering Minnesota's score in the blink of an eye.

Personal fouls on Mistral Raymond and Jasper Brinkley certainly don't help and Stafford finds Titus Young for a 1-yard touchdown to keep the Lions within a score.

Minnesota Vikings 24 Detroit Lions 10

In perhaps the most important possession of the season, the Vikings come through big time, marching the ball 62 yards and score a huge touchdown, a 20-yard pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph.

Ponder finds Rudolph on back to back 3rd down plays, the second resulting in a touchdown. Adrian Peterson converts a huge 2-point conversion.

End of the 3rd Quarter

Minnesota Vikings 16 Detroit Lions 10

The Lions quick-strike offense finally shows up and Detroit is right back in the ball game.

Stafford finds Calvin Johnson with a 51-yarder to get deep into Vikings territory and then Brandon Pettigrew beats Harrison Smith for an easy 16-yard score.

Points out of the Vikings next drive are pretty crucial.

Minnesota Vikings 16 Detroit Lions 3

Adrian Peterson isn't piling up huge numbers, but his presence on the field is forcing the Lions to fill the box and it finally pays off for the Vikings when Ponder finds Devin Aromashodu for a 32-yard gain down to the Lions 3-yard line.

The first down play is more than a little metaphorical as it finds Ponder falling on his ass to lose 7-yards. Two ugly plays leave the Vikings with just three points and another red zone failure.

End of the First Half 

Minnesota Vikings 13 Detroit Lions 3

Leslie Frazier wisely ignores a smattering of boos as the Vikings kick a field goal on 4th and 2 inside the Lions 5-yard line. Blair Walsh is good from 23-yards to put the Vikings back up 10.

Stephen Burton with a brutal drop that would have given Minnesota a first down inside the fifteen yard line. A great effort by Toby Gerhart after a dump off comes up a bit short.

Adrian Peterson gouged the Lions defense and Ponder with a nice 20-yard run to move the ball down the field.

Minnesota Vikings 10 Detroit Lions 3

Kevin Williams comes up with a huge sack of Matthew Stafford to pull the plug on a long Lions drive and keep them to a 41-yard field goal from Jason Hanson.

End of First Quarter

Minnesota Vikings 10 Detroit Lions 0

Chad Greenway, the leading tackler in the NFL, comes up with a big interception of Matthew Stafford, giving the Vikings the ball in Detroit territory. 

After a bizarre play that cost the Vikings 15 yards, Blair Walsh converts from 48 yards to put the Vikings up 10-0.

Minnesota Vikings 7 Detroit Lions 0

Welcome to the NFL, Jarius Wright.

Active for the first time in 2012, rookie Jarius Wright has a 54-yard reception and then a 3-yard touchdown catch in his first series to stake the Vikings to an early 7-0 lead against the Lions.

The Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings are underway at Mall of America Field in Minneapolis. Both teams are fighting to keep their playoff hopes legitimate. The Vikings are playing without Percy Harvin, who suffered a bad ankle sprain last Sunday.

You can see the game beginning at 1 PM Eastern on Fox. Stay with us throughout the afternoon for instant grades and analysis for Minnesota. 

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