The last time the Vikings were this many games above .500, a guy name Favre was under center and the Vikings were on their way to a trip to the NFC Championship game. This time around, the guy under center is much younger but just as wise and this Vikings team looks as good as that 2008 team that fell a field goal short of a fifth Super Bowl trip.
It was special teams that proved to not only help the Vikings improve to 3-1, but also sank the Lions to an embarrassing 1-3 record as the Lions have now allowed four returns for touchdowns in two games.
Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff of the game 101 yards which set the tone right off the bat for the Vikings. Marcus Sherels added to kick returning fun, bringing back the first punt of the second half over 70 yards for a score. It marked the first time in Vikings franchise history that the team returned both a punt and kickoff for a touchdown.
As for the rest of this team, the Vikings looked razor sharp int heir fourth game. Quarterback Christian Ponder was poised and focused and was anything but the wide-eyed rookie he was in his last trip to Ford Field last year. Ponder efficiently managed the game, throwing for just 79 yards, but he kept the ball out of the hands of Lions defenders.
Ponder also was able to thread balls to Jerome Simpson who didn’t actually catch the balls thrown to him, but he drew huge pass interference calls that helped set up the scores for the Vikings. They were mainly off the leg of Blair Walsh, but they were points that continued to distance the Vikings fromt he Lions and keep Detroit off the field.
As for Detroit’s massive front line on defense, Adrian Peterson had no problem challenging and shredding Detroit’s defense for yet another 100-yard plus rushing game for the Vikings back. Peterson has been anything but a slow start as was predicted after coming off of knee surgery and much like the rest of the VIkings, his success has been a great surprise.
The Vikings seem to be for real, even if the Lions aren’t. They beat the 49ers last week and dominated the Lions at home, a place they had yet to lose at this season, as Detroit came from behind to beat the Rams in Week 1. Detroit made it interesting at the end like that aforementioned Rams game, but it took until 2:56 in the fourth quarter for the Lions to score their first touchdown of the game.
Minnesota thought they’d have to sit through a painful rebuilding process, but it’s looking like Jared Allen and an aging defense will get one more shot at something they missed out on four years ago.