As ugly as the second half of the Vikings-Lions games was Sunday in a convincing 34-24 Detroit win, it's hard to imagine that things could have been worse.
On their first four possessions, the Lions came away with only six points, but it was due more to their own self-destruction than the Vikings stepping up and making critical big plays. On their opening drive, the Lions drove to the Vikings 13-yard line before stalling and, when David Akers came in for a chip-shot field goal, a bobbled snap led to the Vikings covering the ball on the 22-yard line and the Lions coming away empty.
On their next drive, the Lions once again got into the Vikings red zone, marching the ball down the field without facing a third down until they were on the Vikings' 19-yard line. The Vikings dodged a bullet when Calvin Johnson couldn't hang on to a touchdown pass and had to settle for a field goal to cut the Vikings lead to 7-3.
On their third drive, it was much the same. Detroit drove into the Vikings red zone again and appeared to have a first down on the 10-yard line on a fourth-and-1 conversion, but a holding penalty on tight end Brandon Pettigrew negated the play and forced the Lions to kick another field goal to cut the lead to 7-6 early in the second quarter.
On their next drive, the Lions had the ball in Vikings territory following a Christian Ponder interception, but Matthew Stafford had his pass tipped by Fred Evans and intercepted by Erin Henderson. The Vikings would take advantage of the turnover to score a touchdown to take a 14-6 lead, but it was all downhill from there for the Vikings.
The numbers spoke volumes. Despite holding a 14-13 lead at halftime, the Vikings defense was on the field for 21 minutes and allowed 269 yards to the Lions.
Still, Leslie Frazier said the Vikings were in good position going into halftime.
"That's the National Football League. You have to be able to execute and we were in pretty good shape going into half," Frazier said. "You don't like to give up a score when you're in position to score like we were before the half, but I felt like we were in pretty good shape. We just needed to come out and get some stops and get some more scores in the second half."
Their luck caught up with them in the second half and the Lions finally took advantage of their opportunities. They finished the game with 469 total yards, including 352 through the air and 117 on the ground. NFL teams aren't going to win many games with those kind of numbers.
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.
Vikings' fortunes ran out in second half
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