Are the Detroit Lions Getting Enough Credit for Their Win Over Vikings?

Sep 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Joseph Fauria (80) celebrates during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The first week of NFL action creates a breeding ground for overreactions. Not every team that lost is headed for 0-16 and not every team that won is suddenly a playoff contender.

But that doesn’t mean opinions can’t, and shouldn’t, be swayed by what transpired. Is it possible the media, and maybe even Lions fans, are under-reacting to the Lions win over the Vikings? Grantland’s Bill Barnwell think so, calling the Lions’ performance a “hidden blowout” in his recap of Sunday’s action:

To me, the most interesting game of the day occurred in Detroit. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a team play as well as Detroit did on Sunday and come away with as little recognition to show for it. Detroit dominated Minnesota — a playoff team a year ago — at home, and all it has to show for it is an Adrian Peterson highlight-reel run.

To be fair, the Lions come away with a pretty nice highlight-reel play of their own with Reggie Bush taking a pass 77 yards for a touchdown but the point is well taken.

For fans who only watch a television highlight package or check out the box score, the story is very much incomplete. Adrian Peterson’s final state line looks somewhere between decent and good, but fans who watched the game know he was ineffective after his first carry of the game. On his other 17 carries, the Lions defense shut down Peterson, and they didn’t give up a huge day to Christian Ponder as a result.

Even with the Lions having points wiped out by review, penalties and a botched field goal hold, the Lions easily covered the spread. The Lions took control in the second half on the scoreboard only, how they did it was a continuation of what they had been doing all game long. Just four week one games ended as double-digit win (or losses depending on your perspective) and the Lions got one of them.

Topics: Detroit Lions

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  • Sam T

    Good point, and I agree with it. Almost no one paid attention to the trouncing we essentially gave them, and to see that AD run played over and over is disappointing—as good as it is, it’s not the main story.

    Conversely, it’s nice to see Lions fans not go completely mental over the win, impressive as it was. There’s a pang of disappointment when I read power rankings that have Detroit frankly way too low, but the other side of my brain says “let them keep underrating us.”

  • Matt Pelc

    It was interesting to me last night while watching the opening of the MNF game and thinking what a debacle the game was–a second straight night of sloppy NFC East play and I began thinking that if the Lions ever got good and won a playoff game here or there (monumental leap of faith, I know), if they would ever get a national game the first week of the season whether it be a Thursday night game (would be nice if they won the Super Bowl to clinch that), the Sunday game or one of the Monday night game. They certainly have star power to warrant being on TV in the NFL’s marquee games if they could win consistently, but I think even if they did–they’d still take a backseat to the NFC and AFC East teams, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Green Bay–the NFL money teams.

    I say this because I look at the Tigers–good for a long time now, star power and while they appear on Fox a lot (technically not national games–they are regional games), they are rarely ever on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. So it doesn’t matter what they do, they’ll still be a “Detroit” team and that never moves the needle for the suits at Fox, ESPN, and NBC.

    As for the Lions-Viks game, as excruciating as it was for us Lions fans to start the game out, that was undoubtedly the most entertaining 1:00 game on Sunday, yet it was relegated to one of the last games (and shortest amount of coverage) covered on all the highlight shows.

    Alas the Lions being the Lions will likely lay an egg in Arizona and all this will be moot. I guess when you approach six decades of ineptitude, the Lions don’t help their situation much.

  • Herman Moore

    The Lions overwhelmed Minnie in every aspect of the game, and if not for a few self-inflicted wounds, this would have been a total blowout.