After an incredible comeback win against the Minnesota Vikings, the Detroit Lions currently find themselves as one of just four undefeated teams in the NFL. The win certainly proved that Detroit is a legitimate team in 2011.
Along with the Buffalo Bills, Detroit has been one of the most surprising teams this season. Other than the first half of the Vikings game, the Lions offense has been virtually unstoppable.
The Vikings have not had the same fortune as Detroit this year, as they have been outscored 67-3 in the second half and overtime of their games this season. They led all three of their games at halftime as well.
In addition to the teams as a whole, there were some other winners and losers from this game. Here a handful of them.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford did not have to face much adversity in his first two games this season. Detroit built a big lead in both games and didn't look back.
Week 3 was completely different, however. The Lions were held scoreless in the first half and entered the second half trailing 20-0.
Many young quaterbacks would fold in the situation that Stafford was presented with. Down three scores on the road is usually an insermountable task for any team.
Instead, Stafford led a furious comeback with some dazzling passes to Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew. It is now apparent that he is a top-flight NFL quarterback.
The biggest reason the Lions dug themselves such a big hole was that their offensive line was manhandled by Minnesota. Jahvid Best finished the day with only 14 rushing yards on 12 attempts.
Yes, the Lions won today, but if they are unable to field any kind of rushing game on a weekly basis, they are going to have some problems on their hands. The Vikings are not a very good team but still came close to defeating Detroit.
Stafford needs at least some hint of a rushing game in order to play at such a high level. Detroit was never going to be a dynamic running team this season, but needs more than the 20 yards managed against the Vikings.
The starting job of Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb has been rumored to be in jeopardy throughout this young season. He does not appear to be the star player that he used to be with the Eagles for so many years.
While McNabb's stat line against the Lions was his best to this point of the season, he was virtually non-existant in the second half.
Minnesota's offense was clicking well in the first half, but was only able to manage a field goal in the second half. This trend is something that is really hurting McNabb's chances at keeping his starting gig.
Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson has been with the team since 1992. He has seen everything from the glory days with Barry Sanders to the extreme struggles they have had in the last several seasons.
Hanson kicked the game winning field goal against Minnesota and had a strong day overall with 14 total points.
He is enjoying a revival season for Detroit, as the Lions have one of the most explosive offenses in the game. It's a well deserved break for the loyal veteran.
The Lions came out of the game as the obvious winners, as they defeated the Vikings 26-23. But they can take out much more than just a mark in the win column.
In order to be an upper echelon team, it's important to win the games you are supposed to win. Minnesota is looking like one of the worst teams in football, so the Lions did themselves well by coming back to beat the Vikings.
The way they won should also help boost the confidence of this team. Many of the Lions' players have not had the experience of winning at the professional level.
One other added bonus is that rookie draft pick Nick Fairley is expected to return at least on a limited basis in Week 4. His presence on the defensive line will improve their defense, something that has already been better than expected in 2011.
The win also kept Detroit on pace with the defending Super Bowl champion Packers in the division.