Detroit Lions Monday Morning Quarterback: Week 3 vs. Minnesota Vikings

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Detroit Lions Monday Morning Quarterback: Week 3 vs. Minnesota Vikings
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Game

The Detroit Lions suffered their third loss in a row, this time at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings, 24-10.

The star of the game was Adrian Peterson, as he accounted for 190 of the Vikings' 368 total yards. 

The disappointment here is that the Vikings did not do enough to win this game; it was the Lions who handed them the game on a silver platter. Dumb penalties, breakdowns in coverage, and missed opportunities highlighted the day for the Lions.

The Good

Tony Scheffler

Scheffler accounted for Detroit's only touchdown on a nice catch in the end zone. For the day, Scheffler had seven catches for 60 yards. Not really a great day, but it’s hard to find anyone who excelled in this game.

Alphonso Smith

Smith only played a handful of downs and his interception could be considered more of a case of good fortune than anything he did, but sometimes a ball that is coming at a defensive player on a slow arc is the hardest to catch. He also made a really nice tackle on Adrian Peterson in the backfield.

The Bad

Brandon Pettigrew

One week after having his first 100-yard receiving game, Pettigrew came back with a performance that has Lions fans dreaming of Michael Oher.

One series in particular stands out. With the Lions only down 14-7 near the end of the first half, Pettigrew dropped consecutive passes from Sean Hill and the Lions were forced to punt. He also had trouble when he stayed in to protect, as he was beaten a few times by Viking defenders.

C.C. Brown

I don’t know how long Lions fans are going to have to endure C.C. Brown starting, because it's time for that experiment to end. 

The problem with Brown is that he makes his share of plays, but it’s the ones he misses that are killing the Lions. 

Cases in point are two plays where Brown had a shot at Peterson. The first time, early in the game, Peterson burst through a nice hole only to be met by Brown, who made a nice tackle to keep Peterson to a minimum game. 

The second time he had a shot at Peterson, Brown left his responsibility and went inside behind the linebackers and left his position. That play went for an 80-yard touchdown run. 

Look, it’s not a shame to be beaten by Peterson if he beats you with his talent, but in this case, it was the mental breakdown that was the issue.

DeAndre Levy

We have all been waiting for Levy to come back and rescue the offense—and maybe he will once he gets his game legs—but against the Vikings he just wasn’t good. 

In a game where the opposing offense rushes the ball 30 times, the middle linebacker, in this case Levy, should have a lot more that two tackles.

Now, Levy has an excuse because he hasn’t played in over a month and before that he was injured as well, but the NFL is a show-me-now league and he didn’t show much.

Stefan Logan

It really isn’t fair to put Logan in the bad category because the guy was killing himself out there. I haven’t seen a guy sacrifice his body on kickoff returns as much as this guy did in this game. 

But his fumbled punt return can be looked at as the turning point in this game. The Lions were up 7-0 and the defense was playing as well as it has all year, and the fumbled punt breathed life back into a Vikings team that was ready to implode.

The Play Calling

Twice in this game the Lions coaches failed them. The first time was at the end of the first half, when Jim Schwartz did not allow his team to take a shot at the end zone with 14 seconds left and instead settled for a field goal. Now, that could be considered a judgment call a coach is allowed to make, but the second mistake by the coaching staff is the one that is, in my eyes, unforgivable. 

Down by 14 points with 7:48 left in the game, the Lions went on a 74-yard drive that ended when Sean Hill was intercepted in the end zone. 

My problem here is that the drive took over five minutes. The Lions were acting as if they were trying to milk the clock at the end of the game instead of trying to erase a two-touchdown deficit. 

Watching that drive, I was getting images of past Lion coaches who did not understand the smallest details like clock management. 

This time it didn’t cost the Lions, but had they scored a touchdown on that play, the Vikings would have only needed to run three plays to use up Detroit’s timeouts.

The Ugly

The Dumb Mistakes

The untimely mistakes and penalties, along with Adrian Peterson, is why the Viking won this game. The most glaring penalty against the Lions was for a blow to the head of Brett Favre

The Lions were getting great pressure on that play from all angles and the play ended with a fumble and recovery by the Lions. The blow to the head might have caused the fumble because it looked like Favre was a bit dazed from it, but in the worst case scenario, it was a sack.

Lions 31, Vikings 24

That was my pick for this game; I got the Vikings score right!  I wish I can say things would have been different if Best didn’t get hurt, but he wasn’t doing much while he was in there.

Misleading Stat of the Day

One sack by the Detroit defense.  The Lions only got one sack against Favre courtesy of Lawrence Jackson, but that doesn’t tell the story of the kind of day Favre had. 

With the exception of a few plays, the Lion were consistently in his face and knocked him around a lot. The only reason they only had one sack is because the secondary couldn’t cover for more than two seconds.

Play of the Day

Corey Williams’ interception of Favre early in the game was a really nice play on his part. The Vikings were trying to run a screen pass to Toby Gerhart that Williams sniffed out and intercepted. 

The highlight of the play for me is that Williams was running so fast that it took Gerhart 27 yards to catch up to him. That play set up Detroit’s only touchdown of the day.

Quote of the Day

"It’s just getting old” – Dominic Raiola.  Really? Thank you, captain obvious; Lion fans had no idea that the losing is “getting old.”

Random Thoughts

Will the Lions ever have a running game?

How long will it be until the Lions get their three staring linebackers on the field together?

If Favre didn’t look good against the Lions secondary, how well is he going to do against one that actually has NFL talent at all positions?

I thought the TEs would have a bigger day for the Vikings than they did.

Overall Impression

As a fan of the Lions, I don’t think I have ever screamed more at my TV than yesterday. The Lions didn’t get beat, they beat themselves, and that had to be the most frustrating part.

Next Week

The Lions will look to right the ship in Green Bay, a place they haven’t won since I was in high school. This will be the first game this year where I feel the Lions have no shot at winning.

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