PASSING OFFENSE: C — Nothing spectacular but then again with Adrian Peterson running wild this aspect of the offense could get away with being mediocre. Brett Favre completed 23 of 34 passes for 201 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The 201 yards was a season-low for Favre and he now has thrown six interceptions this season, one fewer than he had in the regular season in 2009. His touchdown pass was a 24-yarder on which Percy Harvin made a nice diving catch. That was Favre's longest completion of the afternoon. In typical Favre fashion he made use of many of his receivers, completing passes to nine players.
RUSHING OFFENSE: A-minus — Peterson had his best rushing day since Week 1 of the 2009 season, going for 160 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns. This included a career-long 80-yard run in the third quarter. Peterson seemed to be a step slow at times last season but that is no longer the case. On his 80-yarder, he cut to the backside, got nice blocks from Steve Hutchinson, Ryan Cook and Jim Kleinsasser and then delivered a stiff arm to Lions safety C.C. Brown before breaking away and streaking down the sideline. Peterson also finished second on the Vikings with five receptions for 30 yards. Plagued by fumbling problems in his first three seasons, Peterson has touched the ball 83 times this season without a miscue. Cook, by the way, replaced John Sullivan (calf) after one offensive play for the Vikings.
PASS DEFENSE: B — Cornerbacks Cedric Griffin and Chris Cook both returned from knee injuries and helped shore up a pass defense that held Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson to six receptions for 56 yards. Griffin, who tore his ACL in the NFC title game last Jan. 24, started and played the entire game at right corner. Cook played left corner in the nickel defense with Antoine Winfield sliding inside. Lions quarterback Shaun Hill threw for 237 yards and one touchdown but was intercepted twice. Winfield and linebacker Ben Leber had the picks in the fourth quarter and both came in the end zone. Hill was sacked only once but the Vikings did get consistent pressure.
RUSH DEFENSE: B — After giving up 120 yards to the Miami Dolphins in Week 2, the Vikings surrendered only 63 yards to the Lions on the ground. First-round running back Jahvid Best led Detroit with 26 yards on seven carries but left the game in the third quarter because of a toe injury. The Vikings defensive line, as usual, was anchored by tackles Kevin and Pat Williams, but veteran Jimmy Kennedy and Letroy Guion also saw action and helped against the run.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B — Ryan Longwell made a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter and Chris Kluwe averaged 43.2 yards on five punts. Most impressive was that he put four of his punts inside the 20-yard line. Greg Camarillo took over the full-time duties on punt return and averaged 5.8 yards on five attempts. He had two returns called back because of penalties. The Vikings also got a crucial turnover on a Lions punt return in the first quarter when Stefan Logan muffed a punt and Chad Greenway recovered. Favre hit Harvin for a touchdown on the next play.
COACHING: B — Vikings coach Brad Childress was able to rally his team after an 0-2 start. Only three clubs have made the postseason after starting 0-3 since the NFL expanded its playoff format to 12 teams in 1987. The Vikings' victory wasn't pretty but it did go by the blueprint that many expected Childress would use last season when Favre joined. That is to have Favre manage the game, while Peterson is the offensive star. The Vikings also rely on a very good defense. The key thing Sunday was the Vikings remained calm after going down 7-0 following a Favre interception in the first quarter.
Grading the game: Lions
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