Lions Leave Minnesota With 3-Point OT Victory

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 25, 2011 – 3:35 pm

For the third consecutive week the Vikings built up a commanding lead by halftime and for the third consecutive week they watched as that lead evaporated in the 2nd half and left a disappointing defeat in its place. The Vikings led 20-0 at halftime of Sunday’s NFC North showdown with the Detroit Lions and when they returned to the locker room after the game they were dealing with a heart-breaking 26-23 overtime loss.

Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson paced the Vikings offensive effort in the 1st half, with the duo combining for 146 yards and 1 TD on 17 touches. QB Donovan McNabb was helping the cause, too, completing 12 of 18 passes for 103 yards and a TD too to TE Visanthe Shiancoe. Defensively, the Vikings were suffocating QB Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense. Detroit accumulated just 50 yards of total offense, tallied just 4 first downs and scored zero points.

As has been the case for the Vikings every game this season, though, everything changed for the worse in the 2nd half. Stafford found a rhythm in the passing game, finding TE Brandon Pettigrew regularly in the middle of the field and then hitting superstar WR Calvin Johnson over the top and on quick slants whenever a big play was needed. For the game, Johnson and Pettigrew combined for 18 receptions, 220 receiving yards and 1 TD.

Just as influential in the outcome of Sunday’s game were mistakes made by the Vikings. A 4th-and-inches play fell short in the 4th quarter as the Vikings nursed a 3-point lead, a penalty on a punt late in the 4th quarter ruined what would’ve been outstanding field position for the Vikings as they tried to pull out a late win, and the team was penalized 10 times on the afternoon.

Increasing the frustration level in this loss is the fact that the Vikings did many of the things they needed to do to win. They sacked Stafford 5 times (he hadn’t been sacked coming into the game), they held the Lions to 20 rushing yards, and McNabb had a season-high in completions and yards.

The Vikings will regroup tomorrow and throughout the week as they must prepare for a tough road test at Kansas City. The Chiefs are having as disappointing a season as the Vikings, but Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City always yields a tough environment for the visiting team, and it’ll be the Vikings challenge to correct what’s gone wrong in 3 games and find their first win of the season while on the road.

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Submit Your Monday Morning Mailbag Questions

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 25, 2011 – 2:20 pm

The Vikings are 0-3 and Monday morning is right around the corner. Sounds like the Monday Morning Mailbag will be full.

To submit a comment or question, send an email to me at You can also submit your comment or question in the comments section below this entry.

Remember to include your name and town on the comment/email. We can’t post every comment/question, but we’ll try to answer each question.

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Vikings Take 20-0 Lead To Locker Room At Halftime

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 25, 2011 – 12:35 pm

We’ve heard this song before. Hopefully this week it has a different ending. The Vikings have built a commanding 20-0 lead in the 1st half and head to the locker room off a terrific punt return by Marcus Sherels that set up a TD connection between QB Donovan McNabb and TE Visanthe Shiancoe.

Credit the Vikings defense for pressuring Matthew Stafford – without the use of extra pressure from rushing CBs or LBs – and holding the potent Lions offense to zero points, only 4 first-downs and just 50 yards of offense.

For the Vikings offense, Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson are stealing the show. Harvin has 2 receptions for 26 yards and two rushes for 41 yards. Peterson has been gashing the Lions defense to the tune of 6.1 yards per carry (73 yards on 12 carries) and he also has a rushing TD on the day. WR Michael Jenkins has also been a factor and is McNabb’s favorite target through 2 quarters – he has 5 receptions for 39 yards.

Now the question will be, can the Vikings play well in the 2nd half and not let the lead melt away? Detroit begins the half with the ball, so we might know pretty quickly how much fight the Lions have left.

Check back after the game for an update and stick with all throughout the day for updates and information, including live streaming of post-game press conferences.

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Today’s Inactives

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on September 25, 2011 – 9:29 am

Here are the Vikings inactive players for today’s game vs. Detroit:

Today’s inactives: CB Brandon Burton, S Mistral Raymond, LB Xavier Adibi, C Brandon Fusco, T DeMarcus Love, WR Greg Camarillo, and DE D’Aundre Reed.

Of note, CB Chris Cook is active after being questionable with a groin injury.  All other Vikings on the injury report were probable and all of those players are active.

Here are the Lions inactive players for today’s game:

QB Drew Stanton, WR Rashied Davis, T Jason Fox, G Jacques McClendon, DT Nick Fairley, LB Doug Hogue, and CB Alphonso Smith.

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All Hands On Deck For Battle Against Lions

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 25, 2011 – 6:39 am

The Vikings are at 0-2 after a pair of tale-of-two-halves losses to begin the season and today they have an NFC North matchup against the 2-0 Detroit Lions. On many different levels, this is a big game for the Vikings.

The good news is it looks like the Vikings will have all hands on deck for today’s battle.

The Vikings had 8 players listed on the Friday injury report, but 7 of them were given the “probable” designation and just 1 was “questionable.” CB Chris Cook is listed as questionable with a groin injury, but Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said he made it through the week just fine and should be good to go for today.

A pair of starting defensive linemen – Jared Allen and Kevin Williams – were on the injury report, with Allen feeling soreness in his shoulder and Williams still dealing with a foot injury. Both players are probable for the game, and Williams was a full participant in practice all week while Allen was limited on Wednesday but was a full participant on Thursday and Friday.

WRs Percy Harvin and Michael Jenkins should both be good to go. Harvin missed Thursday’s practice with an illness but was back at full strength on Friday, while Jenkins is listed with a groin injury but didn’t miss any practice over the week.

The other 3 players listed were LB E.J. Henderson (knee) and CBs Asher Allen (toe) and Marcus Sherels (chest). Allen and Sherels both finished the week as full participants in practice and Henderson, who was limited all week in practice, is expected to play and start today.

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