Adrian Peterson started with a 78-yard touchdown on the Vikings' first play, then was bottled up. What happened? Frazier had one explanation, but Reggie Bush won the running back battle. Plus, get a dozen-and-a-half notes that help tell the tale of the game.
had the 19th multi-touchdown game of his career and tied a franchise record with his sixth three-TD game of his career, tying Chuck Foreman as the only other player to score three times in six games.
Peterson finished the game with 18 carries for 93 yards, but that didn't tell the whole story. His first carry of the game went for a 78-yard touchdown. From that point on, he had 17 carries for just 15 yards.
"I don't know if they schematically did anything different that we expected. They just did a better job of attacking us at the line of scrimmage and playing on our side of the ball," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "We've got to get movement more than we did. Credit their defensive line. They played very well."
It turned out Reggie Bush
was the more dominant running back in the matchup with A.D.
Making his Detroit debut, Bush rushed 21 times for 90 yards and caught four passes for 100 yards – coming within 10 yards of being the first Lion in 31 years to rush and receive for 100 or more yards in a game. The last time that happened was in 1982 when Billy Sims did it.
"We've got to take a look at our strategy. Obviously it wasn't very effective with what we wanted to do with Bush," Frazier said. "We're facing a back (Chicago's Matt Forte
) this next week who is similar catching the ball out of the backfield. We gave some explosives to a running back and we've got to do better."
Matthew Stafford dominated the battle of the quarterbacks, completing 28 of 43 passes for two touchdowns and one interception. Christian Ponder completed 18 of 28 passes for 236 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Jerome Simpson was the big-play threat in the passing game, catching seven passes for 140 yards. The players expected to be the Vikings' big receiving threats – Kyle Rudolph, Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson – combined to catch six passes for 70 yards.
The Vikings held Calvin Johnson in check, although he was within inches of having two touchdowns – one that he failed to hold to when he hit the ground and another in the back of the end zone in which his second foot grazed the back line of the end zone. Megatron finished the game with four catches for 37 yards, including just one for eight yards in the second half.
Former Viking Nate Burleson was a consistent threat throughout the game for Detroit, catching six passes for 78 yards.
Kicker Blair Walsh made a 52-yard field goal. In 17 career regular-season games, Walsh has made all 11 of his attempts from 50 yards and beyond.
Punter Jeff Locke struggled in his first game, averaging 42.2 yards a punt with a net average of just 34.8 yards.
Both kickers had big games on kickoffs. All five of Walsh's kickoffs were touchbacks and Patterson had two returns on seven kickoffs, both from nine yards deep in the end zone.
Erin Henderson led the Vikings with 11 tackles and had an interception. Harrison Smith had 10 tackles and made some impressive big hits throughout the game.
Jared Allen continued his strong play against the Lions, recording a sack and batting down a pair of passes. He has owned the Lions for much of his career, recording 15 sacks, four forced fumbles, an interception and a safety.
The Vikings got a scare early in the game after Ponder threw an interception. On the return, Ndamukong Suh, known as one of the dirtiest players in the NFL, went low on Vikings center John Sullivan from the side. Sullivan hit the ground grabbing his left knee but would return to the game.
The Vikings converted just two of 10 third downs and both of those came in the same drive in the third quarter.
Both teams averaged more than six yards a play, but Detroit ran 24 more plays (77) than the Vikings (53).
The Vikings were supposed to be the dominant running team of the two, but it didn't show up Sunday. The Vikings ran 22 times for 105 yards, while the Lions ran 33 times for 117 yards.
The Vikings weren't able to take advantage of numerous Detroit penalties. The Lions were penalized 11 times for 88 yards. The Vikings were penalized five times for 52 yards.
The Lions were 3 of 6 in red zone efficiency, scoring three touchdowns and two field goals. The Vikings were 2 for 2, scoring touchdowns both times they got inside the Detroit 20-yard line.
The Lions held the ball for 36:19 of the game, including a dominant advantage in the first half. In the opening half, the Lions held the ball for 20:58, but were outscored 14-13. In the second half, the held the ball for 15:21, but outscored the Vikings 21-10.
Sunday was the fourth straight year that the Vikings have lost their road opener, digging themselves an early hole to start the season.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.