Turning point: Repeat Week 2 series

The Vikings' 27-10 win over the Lions was far from being assured as the second half began Sunday. But, in an eerily similar scenario that played itself out in Week 2, a big play by Ray Edwards followed by a sparkling run by Adrian Peterson helped give the Vikings a lead that wouldn't be seriously challenged afterward.

In a game in which the Vikings were a prohibitive favorite against a Detroit team that has struggled to find ways to win over the last three seasons, it was a pair of near mirror-image plays from the first meeting between the teams that created the turning point of the game in Sunday's 27-10 win.

In their first meeting in September, the Lions and Vikings were tied 10-10 in the third quarter with Detroit in possession of the ball on their own 31-yard line. Running back Kevin Smith took a handoff and was drilled by Ray Edwards. Smith fumbled the ball and Chad Greenway recovered on the Lions 27-yard line. On the next play, Adrian Peterson broke off a 27-yard touchdown run to give the Vikings the go-ahead score that would propel them the rest of the way.

In the rematch, it seemed like déjà vu all over again.

The Vikings had missed out on several chances to build a lead considerably larger than their 10-3 halftime edge, but, as the third quarter began, the Lions had a chance to make a statement with a solid drive. Instead, an identical disaster struck – with the usual suspects involved again.

Starting from the 20-yard line, the Lions gave Smith a handoff on the first play and he was hit by Edwards and once again fumbled. Edwards recovered on the Lions 28-yard line and set the Vikings offense up for a chance to step on the Lions' throats and build a comfortable lead.

As with the first meeting, it appeared as though it would again take just one play to make the turnover pay off. Peterson took a handoff and broke through into the open field. He once again raced 27 yards, but this time was brought down on the 1-yard line. He would finish the drive on the next play with a 1-yard run to give the Vikings a 17-3 lead that would never seriously be challenged the rest of the game.

The two series of plays were separated by six games – the first coming in the second game of the season and Sunday's turn of fortune coming in the ninth game, but they both had the same result. With a chance to get back in the game, the Vikings defense got the big turnover that was needed and the offense cashed in immediately behind the power running of Peterson to give the Vikings a lead that wouldn't be tested and, in quick fashion, created the turning point of the game.

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.

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