Vikings vs. Lions: 5 Halftime Adjustments Minnesota Must Make

Jeff KneisSenior Analyst IIIDecember 11, 2011

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 11:  Cliff Avril #92 of the Detroit Lions causes a first quarter fumble against Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings that ended up being recovered in the end zone for a Lions touchdown at Ford Field on December 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Vikings had a miserable first half. Not a whole lot went right for the Christian Ponder-led offense. The second quarter has shown some promise, but a 21-point deficit will be tough to overcome.

Here are five things Minnesota must do in the second half against Detroit:

1) Limit Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson is a huge threat to score at any time, and the Vikings need to double him on every play. 

He has had a quiet first half, and this will be a key to keep the Vikings in the game throughout the second half.

2) Establish the Run Game

With Adrian Peterson out of the game, the Vikings will need to try to replace their offensive leader. The reverse to Percy Harvin was a good example of how to find a way to replace the Pro Bowl RB.

Expect more reverses as the Vikings try to find a way to move the ball downfield.

3) No More Turnovers

Turnovers have absolutely devastated the Vikings early on in the first half. The first Lions touchdown was off of the fumble, and the second came right after the interception. In the second half, the pick-six really stopped any momentum the Vikings had.

Christian Ponder will definitely need to protect the ball and get a few long drives together.

4) Keep Getting Pressure on Matthew Stafford

The one bright spot for the Vikings has been the pass rush led by Jared Allen. The Vikings will need more from their defensive line to get back in the game.

Stafford has been dangerous when he has time, but has made a few mistakes when pressured. Creating turnovers is key to the Vikings coming back in the game.

5) Safe Passes for Ponder

Christian Ponder is having a hard time finding receivers. The Vikings need to run more screens to help build his confidence and get some yards through the air.

It will be a good test to see how Ponder mentally holds up after all his early mistakes.

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