I proposed five things to watch prior to the Detroit Lions taking on the Minnesota Vikings that might help tell the story of the game. Here is a look back at those five things to see how they played out.
1. Lions Pass Rush – It was a better effort than a week ago but it still wasn’t the kind of dominating performance the Lions need. There was no strip-sack, no ball batted up in the air for an interception. Christian Ponder was sacked twice but “better” from the Lions pass rush wasn’t good enough.
2. Jared Allen – The Lions didn’t shut out Jared Allen, he did manage to record one sack, but that was vast improvement over last year when he came away with three in each game against the Lions. Allen and the rest of the Vikings defensive front did manage to keep a lot of pressure on Matthew Stafford throughout the game.
3. Halftime Score – Fans hoping the Lions would get things turned around in game four should have known they hadn’t by halftime. The Vikings 13-6 lead at the half means the Lions have trailed at halftime in each of their first four games. They played well coming from behind a year ago but they’ve played with fire far too often, now they’re just getting burned.
4. Calvin Johnson – The Vikings did a masterful job of matching the blueprint set by the 49ers. Their two high safeties meant there wasn’t anything open over the top and keeping the play in front of the defense helped hold Calvin Johnson to five catches for 54 yards.
5. Under 100 – Adrian Peterson failed to eclipse the 100 yards on the ground in his first three games since returning from the ACL tear that ended his 2011 season. He got their in week four against the Lions. Peterson looked a lot like his old self in carrying the ball 21 times for 102 yards. His efficiency on the ground was key in allowing the Vikings to limite Christian Ponder to 26 passing attempts. The Vikings were severely outgained on the day but getting some work done on the ground allowed the Vikings to finish nearly even with the Lions in time of possession.