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Lions had no answer for Peterson
This story originally published on
Adrian Peterson (Jon Dahlin/Viking Update)
The Associated Press
Posted Nov 12, 2012
With Percy Harvin out, the Detroit Lions knew they had to stop Adrian Peterson and still couldn’t do it. Peterson earned the praise of Lions defenders who failed to stop him in a critical game.
knew exactly what the
were going to do on Sunday. They still had no answer for
The Vikings’ remarkable comeback kid rushed for 171 yards and a touchdown and
had a costly fumble in the fourth quarter in the Lions’ 34-24 loss to the Vikings.
The Vikings were missing star receiver
with a sprained left ankle, meaning the Lions could load up against Peterson even more than they normally do. They held him in check for the first half, but Peterson rolled up 134 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown run that essentially put the game away, in the final two quarters.
“We knew our game plan was to limit him, limit his production, not allow any breakout runs,” Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said. “But it’s easier said than done. He’s a dynamic player. Probably the best back in the league right now, and we just didn’t get it done.”
The Lions (4-5) certainly aren’t alone. Peterson has rushed for 629 yards in the last four games and 1,128 already this season, looking nothing like a player who shredded two ligaments in his left knee just over 10 months ago.
“They have the best running back in the league and we need to find a way to stop him,” Lions linebacker
said. “We knew he was going to get the ball. He saw some creases and when he sees a crease, he goes.”
Johnson had 12 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown in another gritty effort on a balky left knee. But his fumble in Detroit territory midway through a wild fourth quarter ended the Lions’ mounting offensive momentum.
completed 28 of 42 passes for 329 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, but the Lions offense didn’t really get rolling until it was too late.
Once again, a sluggish first half had the Lions playing catch-up all game. They managed just 115 yards and went 0 for 6 on third downs in the first half, falling behind 13-3 at halftime thanks to a TD pass from Ponder to rookie
and two field goals by
for a touchdown in the third quarter to make it 16-10, and the Lions were still very much in the game after
’s 1-yard TD catch early in the fourth quarter made it 24-17.
Peterson responded by dashing off right tackle for a 61-yard score, then Johnson fumbled a reception to give the Vikings the ball at the Detroit 45. One more field goal from Walsh made it 34-17 and put the game out of reach.
“That was tough, especially in that situation of the game,” Johnson said of the fumble. “It hurt, especially because I hate turning the ball over.”
The Lions had won three out of four after a 1-3 start to creep back into the playoff picture. After a loss that halted their momentum, they’re left seeking comfort in three straight homes games that are coming up, even if they are against heavyweights Green Bay and Houston and improving Indianapolis.
“It is what it is. We’re 4-5,” coach Jim Schwartz said. “That’s what our record is. We’ve got three games at home. We start this week against Green Bay. It doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past. We have stuff in front of us, but we have to play better than this.”
Struggling Vikings quarterback
threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns against the porous Lions secondary, which was torched by Wright for 54 yards on Minnesota’s fifth play of the game to set up the first score.
managed just 43 yards rushing on 13 carries and
had another very quiet day with just one tackle for the Lions, who are left licking more wounds than one.
left the game with a concussion and defensive back
suffered an ankle injury. Houston said he would be fine, but wasn’t happy because he felt an offensive lineman fell on his ankle on purpose. Still, he said falling to 0-3 in the NFC North was much more painful than the ankle was.
“It hurts bad. We need to win all division games,” Houston said. “Our thoughts of the playoffs are still kind of slim but if we come back and win these three home games, we still have a shot.”
Vikings record-seekers vs. Lions
Nov 11, 2012
Peterson’s stats, methods are staggering
Nov 13, 2012
Charges against Peterson dropped
Nov 13, 2012
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