Second Half Comeback-Minnesota Vikings Win-Nothing Less
The first half did not meet the typical standards of Vikings coaching.
But none the less, the Vikings finished strong behind their Pro-Bowl runningback Adrian Peterson who blazed the Browns defense with 180-yards and finding the endzone three times.
A decent 34-20 win would ease the pain of sloppy first half play.
The Vikings entered their second week ready to take on NFC North division rival, the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
This was a day that would start off good for a guy who single handidly owned the NFL record book. Brett Favre made his record breaking 271st career start, breaking former Viking Jim Marshall's record of 270.
However, what would ensue would be another sloppy slow Vikings' first half. As improabable as it could seem, the Lions capitilaized on a botched handoff between Favre and Peterson that resulted in a fumble.
The Lions who have lost 18 staright in row since the end of the 2007 season, had a breathable 10-0 lead reaching the end of the first half.
A new look Lions defense led by former Steeler Larry Foote and Ernie Sims, also held the Vikings offense at bay, and Favre found himself on the turf a lot more then he wanted to.
A succesful Favre-led drive at the end of the second quarter though, led to a Visanthe Shiancoe 1-yard touchdown making it 10-7 entering halftime.
For most Minnesota Vikings fans, the term second half team couldn't ring any louder on Sunday. The Vikings have been known for years as a team who play at their best in the second half.
The Vikings came out swinging. The Lions' mighty roar from the first half was silenced. Nothing more then a nervous meow.
The Vikings went on to score 27 unanswered points until the Lions made a kitty attempt to make the game closer with a field goal until a finish and a 27-13 Vikings win.
So what do the Vikings pull from this?
Well we saw a Vikings offense once again struggle in the first half, only to finish strong in the second.
Unfortiantly, once the Viking get deeper into their 2009 schedule, they will find playing from behind will be harder when facing the stronger perenial NFL teams.
Here's a look at several game that could give the Vikings problems if they find them selves playing from behind:
*Tough Games-Tough Teams:
Sept. 27 vs San Fransisco 49ers (Vikings' Home Opener)
Oct. 4 vs Green Bay Packers (NFC North Divisional Game)
Oct. 18 vs Baltimore Ravens
Oct. 25 @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Nov. 1 @ Green Bay Packers (NFC North Divisional Game)
Nov. 29 vs Chicago Bears (NFC North Divisional Game)
Dec. 20 @ Carolina Panthers
Dec. 28 @ Chicago Bears (NFC North Divisional Game)
During his press confrence after the game, Favre also noticed the average play of the Vikings offense in the first two games against weaker opponents.
Favre told the the media-"To think we can continue to win games that way, is not going to happen. Detroit played hard, played well. I was worried."
The Vikings went into haftime down 13-10 against the Browns in week one and found themselves in a similar position in week two against the Lions.
"I don't care how good you are or how good you think you are, You still have to play. We came back and scored a lot of points. Did what we needed to do finally. But we can't continue to do that. We've got to find a way to do it from the start."
-Favre after he was asked about the Vikings slow start against NFC North rival, the Detroit Lions.
Another concern the Vikings will have to look at before they open their first home game this Sunday against the San Fransisco 49ers, is their defense which managed to play slow through out the first half and give up numerous big run plays to an average Lions runningback core.
The Vikings defense which is usually one of the toughest to run against in the NFL is lead by Pro-Bowl defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams (No relation) in the middle and defensive end Jared Allen.
However, the front four was run all over in the first half, and gave up an unusual 129 rushing yards to a average running core.
Despite the sloppy play, the leader on defense was Vikings' Chad Greenway who picked off Mathew Stafford twice (2 Ints) and also recovered a fumble.
The biggest concern for the defense is shutting down 49er runningback Frank Gore who is coming off an explosive week 2 in which he ran for 207-yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Vikings will have their hands full if they can not shut down the 49ers' running game.
The adavantage is still with the Vikings though as they will be opening at home, and they have led the NFL the past 3 years in a row stopping the run.
I expect Shaun Hill to be called on to try and open up a 49er passing game that has seen better days.
The Vikings are currently 2-0 and in first place in the NFC North division and look to wrap up a third win this Sunday.
Andy Smith is a Minnesota Vikings and NFC North sports writer for Bleacher Report
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