Kevin Williams did his part in the Vikings' 12-10 win Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Despite playing down to their competition, the Vikings will take the victory - even if it was pretty ugly. See what the players had to say and get dozens of game notes that help tell the story of the come-from-behind win.
Sometimes winning ugly works.
Sunday's 12-10 Vikings win over the 0-5 Detroit Lions may not have been an artistic success, but the Vikings players will take the win any way they could get it. Although not pretty by any stretch of the imagination, it worked and the Vikings came away in a tie for first place after the Bears lost on a field goal as time ran out in their game against the Falcons.
"It wasn't pretty, but it doesn't matter how you got it, a ‘W' is a ‘W,'" wide receiver Bobby Wade
said. "We missed some opportunities early. It wasn't a matter of not being prepared. It was a matter of not executing."
The defense carried the Vikings most of the day, shutting down first-time starter Dan Orlovsky
and the Detroit offense for much of the game. The Vikings offense sputtered and stalled for most of its day, but, as they have done in the past few weeks, when they absolutely had to get something going in the fourth quarter, the offense produced enough to win.
"For us on defense, it's all about getting stops," said defensive tackle Kevin Williams
, who had a career-high four sacks Sunday. "When we've needed the offense to make plays, they've come through. That is what it's all about. A win is a win. There won't be an asterisk next to it in the (record) book. It's just going to say it was a win. We didn't play like we thought we would, but the win is all that mattered."
However ugly the game may have been for a team that was prepared to blow the Lions out, the Vikings will take the victory and were willing to admit they held their breath until Ryan Longwell
's field goal went through in the closing seconds.
"Seeing that we're tied for first place, it makes the win that much bigger," safety Darren Sharper
said. "We would have liked to have won in a different fashion, but we have to tip our hat to Detroit. They played a hard-nosed game, but it was kind of a sigh of relief when the field goal went in."
The Vikings may not have looked pretty doing it, but to a man they said they will gladly accept the victory even while admitting that there is a lot of room for improvement.
"(Detroit) is a good team, even if the record doesn't show it," linebacker Ben Leber
said. "We need to capitalize on our opportunities a lot more. We didn't have to make these games close. With the talent we have on this team, it doesn't have to happen like this. We'll take the win, but we have to play better."
Sometimes winning ugly is just as satisfying as blowing somebody out, because, in the end, it doesn't matter if a win is by one point or 31 – they all count the same in the standings.
Kevin Williams had four sacks Sunday, which was not only a career high, but the second-highest total in Vikings history for a single game. Randy Holloway holds the record with five against the Falcons during the Les Steckel malaise season of 1984. Williams shares the No. 2 spot with eight others, including Alan Page twice, Keith Millard twice, Chris Doleman, Jim Marshall and Doug Martin.
Longwell notched his second game-winning kick in seven days, giving him 15 for his career.
On Longwell's blocked field goal, he said everything technically was fine, saying, "The kick was out and was climbing. The snap was good. The hold was good. But the penetration was enough to get a hand on it."
Adrian Peterson had the ninth 100-yard rushing game of his 19-game NFL career. That ties him with Michael Bennett and Bill Brown for third all-time in Vikings history. He trails only Chuck Foreman (17) and Robert Smith (29) in franchise history.
The Vikings held a decided edge in total yards with 392 (257 passing, 135 rushing) to just 212 by the Lions (112 passing and 100 rushing).
Both teams were brutal in third-down conversion attempts. The Vikings were just 3-for-15 (20 percent), but that was better than Detroit, which was a mere 2-for-13 (15 percent).
The teams combined for 17 punts Sunday.
During the third and fourth quarters, a chant from the stands of "Fire Childress!" could be heard. The fans spent more time booing the Vikings Sunday than they did cheering them.
The Lions had just eight first downs in the game, as opposed to 18 for the Vikings.
Detroit had eight drives that went three-and-out.
With his 86-yard touchdown in the third quarter, Berrian went over 100 yards for the second straight game. The Vikings didn't have a 100-yard receiving game in all of 2007. The last time a Viking had two straight 100-yard receiving games was Nate Burleson in December, 2004
Berrian's touchdown was a record-setter in several regards. It was the second-longest pass on franchise history, bettered only by an 89-yard pass from Fran Tarkenton to Charley Ferguson vs. the Bears Nov. 11, 1962. It was also the longest reception of Berrian's career (the previous was 68 yards) and the longest TD of Frerotte's career (his previous high being 77 yards).
The interception by Leigh Bodden in the third quarter was the Lions' first interception of the season.
Detroit didn't covert a third down until the third quarter. The Lions were 0-for-6 on third down in the first half.
Despite trailing 3-2 at halftime, the Vikings dominated the stat sheet. Minnesota held the ball for 18:00 of the first 30 minutes and outgained the Lions 143-90. The Vikings had 85 yards passing and 53 yards rushing, while the Lions had 63 yards rushing and 20 yards passing. The Vikings were 2-for-9 on third-down conversions, while the Lions were 0-for-6.
Frerotte completed 11 of 19 passes in the first half for 113 yards. Peterson had 12 rushes for 47 yards and Berrian and Wade each had three receptions. For the Lions, Orlovsky completed 5 of 10 passes for just 39 yards. Smith had five carries for 62 yards – 50 of those coming on one carry – and Smith was the only Lion with more than one reception in the first half.
The Lions didn't get their initial first down of the game until less than 10 minutes remained in the first half.
In their first four games, the Lions had a combined four sacks. Detroit had four sacks in the game's first 16 minutes.
The Vikings dominated the first-quarter statistics, thanks to holding the ball for 11:16 of the quarter. The Vikings outgained the Lions 95-14. The Vikings had 57 yards passing and 38 yards rushing, while Detroit had just 10 yards passing and four yards rushing.
The Vikings ran 21 plays in the first quarter, as opposed to just nine for the Lions.
Individually, Frerotte completed 6 of 9 passes for 78 yards and a passer rating of 93.8 in the first quarter. Peterson had eight carries for 33 yards and Ferguson and Wade had two catches each. Berrian led the team in yardage with one catch for 33 yards.
For the Lions, Orlovsky completed 2 of 5 passes for 11 yards and a passer rating of 47.9 in the opening period. Johnson had all three rushing attempts for four yards and Kevin Smith caught both passes for 11 yards.
The Lions didn't score in the first quarter, continuing a hideous trend this season. In the first quarter of games, the Lions have been outscored 40-0 this season.
The first points of the game were scored in bizarre fashion. Pinned on the 1-yard line after a fumble by Peterson, Detroit appeared to get a safety when Orlovsky threw a pass into the ground in the end zone. It was deemed there was a receiver in the vicinity, but, two plays later, Orlovsky was chased by Jared Allen and stepped on the back line of the end zone for a safety.
The first fumble by Peterson was recovered by Dwight Smith, who was making his first return to the Metrodome since being allowed to leave via free agency after last season.
The Lions didn't score on their first possession – breaking a streak of three straight games in which the Vikings defense allowed points on the first drive of a game.
On his first punt of the day, Chris Kluwe made fans happy they kept him. He hit a 55-yard punt that was covered on the 3-yard line.
Vikings fans' hearts skipped a beat on the first carry of the game for Peterson, who was spun head over heels on a tackle by Lions safety Daniel Bullocks. A.D. popped right up.
In what has become something of a tradition, the Lions won the toss, but deferred to the Vikings, who got the opening kickoff.
The pregame ritual of sounding the Vikings horn to usher the introduction of the starting lineup was handled by the family of former Viking Wally Hilgenberg. Hilgenberg passed away Sept. 23 after a long battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease.
The Vikings captains for Sunday's game were Steve Hutchinson (offense), Pat Williams (defense) and Ryan Longwell (special teams).
The attendance was 62,867 – the 109th straight sellout at the Metrodome dating back to 1998.