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.