For a while it looked like more of the same for the Detroit Lions. A botched field goal attempt left the Lions shut out on their opening drive only to be followed by a 78-yard touchdown run the first time Adrian Peterson touched the ball.
It felt like the Lions controlled, or even dominated, most of the first half but they went into the halftime locker room trailing 14-13. Halftime marked an important crossroads. It was an opportunity to regroup and show that things are different this year.
The response couldn’t have been much better.
One of the biggest problems last year was the lack of a home run threat out of the backfield with Jahvid Best sidelined. Reggie Bush was brought in to add that dimension and through one game, the move looks brilliant.
Matthew Stafford found Reggie Bush underneath and let the playmaker do playmaker things. 77 yards later, Bush had run past the Vikings defense en route to the end zone. The touchdown extended the Lions lead to 27-17 late in the third quarter, enough breathing room to let the Lions defensive line smell blood in the water and help close out the game.
Bush was the star all day long, falling just ten rushing yards short of becoming the first Lions running back with at least 100 yards rushing and at least 100 yards receiving in the same game since Billy Sims in 1982.
Adrian Peterson’s stat line looks just fine in the box score but the real story of this game is in the details. On his first carry, Peterson went 78 yards. He totaled just 15 yards on his next 17 carries. Peterson got his big play, but still finished under 100 yards rushing on the day.
The Lions took control by finally capitalizing on their opportunities and shutting down the Vikings’ main offensive threat.