Stafford Rallies Lions To 26-23 OT Win At Vikings

Photo Gallery From Game

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The old Detroit Lions would have wilted after falling behind 20-0 at halftime. These are not the same old Lions.

Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes in the second half to rally Detroit from the big halftime deficit, and Jason Hanson kicked a 32-yard field goal in overtime for a 26-23 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Calvin Johnson had seven catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns for the Lions, who are 3-0 for the first time since 1980. They won in the Metrodome for the first time since 1997, snapping a 13-game skid.

Adrian Peterson rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown, but only 5 of those yards came in the second half as the Vikings (0-3) gave away a large halftime lead for the third week in a row.

Stafford completed 32 of 46 passes for 378 yards, and he saved his best throw of the day for his last.

With blitzing Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway right in Stafford’s grill, the young quarterback heaved a pass off his back foot in Johnson’s direction. The 6-foot-5 Johnson made a brilliant 40-yard catch with Cedric Griffin all over him, and Hanson calmly drilled the field goal for the winning score.

There was a little confusion after the kick, with officials blowing their whistles and holding off the celebration. But this was a long time coming for the Lions, and coach Jim Schwartz could be heard over the referee’s microphone yelling “Learn the (expletive) rules!” as he jogged toward his handshake with the Vikings’ Leslie Frazier.

Stafford looked completely lost against the Vikings’ aggressive array of zone blitzes in the first half, throwing for just 64 yards.

He was a different quarterback in the second half, certainly closer to the No. 1 overall pick in 2009 who led the Lions so capably in the first two weeks. He calmly dissected the Vikings defense, completing 14 of 23 passes for 257 yards, with much of his damage done to Brandon Pettigrew over the middle.

Pettigrew had 11 catches for 112 yards for the Lions, who were favored in Minnesota for the first time since 1981.

Jared Allen had three sacks, Brian Robison added two and Donovan McNabb threw for 211 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings.

For the third week in a row, the Vikings came out of the gates flying. Peterson had a 6-yard touchdown run, and the defense sacked Stafford, who had hardly been touched in the first two weeks, three times in the first half.

The Lions had minus-7 yards of offense in the first quarter, and Marcus Sherels’ 53-yard punt return set up McNabb’s 8-yard TD to Visanthe Shiancoe for a 20-0 lead.

Despite coming into the game 0-2, domination like that was nothing new for the Vikings, who have outscored their opponents 54-7 in the first half of the first three games. They led San Diego 17-7 at the break in the opener and were up 17-0 on the Buccaneers last week.

Stafford hit Johnson for a 32-yard TD, and Hanson’s 27-yard field goal cut the lead in half at 20-10.

Jahvid Best’s 60-yard screen pass gave the Lions a first-and-goal at the 5 as the quarter came to an end, one that saw the Lions outgain the Vikings 190-6.

Stafford’s 5-yard TD to Johnson made it 20-17 early in the fourth quarter, and Frazier decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the Detroit 17 rather than kick a field goal. Toby Gerhart was stuffed by DeAndre Levy.

Stafford drove the Lions right back down the field, and Hanson’s 50-yard field goal tied the game with 5:20 to play.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Greg Fischer

    The vikings are on e of the worst teams in the NFL and I think tjheywould not be missed if they left the state.

    • Jarred-from-subway-not-Allen

      You are absolutely correct…better to volunteer your 6 hours on Sunday, than watch such a group of looser.

  • B.Grant

    I’m hoping for an 0-16 season this year,followed by a swift relocation for the team to anywhere but here..Take that grotesque shyster Zygi Wilf with em!

  • Aaron

    I think the loses are due to a refusal to go to your best players when you need the first down or the score. Today there were 2 third and 1 or third and two and instead of giving the ball to Adrian we threw one which lead to an incomplete pass and a fourth and 1 and they gave it it Gerhart instead of Peterson who was the one to waive the field goal team off the field. I know that Percy Harvin has been hampered by a sick stomach but when he wasnt feeling sick in the first and second games why are you subbing him with Booker. Do we forget that Harvin returned a kickoff for a touchdown on the first play of the first game. These are our best weapons and we need to be using them no questions asked. It is time to stop being so conservative on offense and give the defense some grace when they give up points which we know they are going to do. Does anyone hear the call for Christian Ponder too?

    • get a GED

      Actually I heard a call for an English instructor.

  • Grover

    Oh, did they play again today? Any home runs?

  • Ron

    Either replace the quarterback or the offensive coordinator, neither one is doing their job.

    You cannot allow the offense to take the entire second half off as they have been doing.

  • MrB

    Does anyone REALLY care what the vikings did today???? If you do, your a sad case!!!

  • richard

    I’m sure a new stadium will lead to superior play just as it has done for the twins.

  • TRLK

    V_ queens need to move out of state

  • johnnycmoun

    How do you answer that Leslie! Fire up a little, your not Tony Dungy!!! Tell Jerod Allen to quit asking the fans to stand up in the second half when they give up 1st downs after 1st downs and points after points! Do you damn job or punch someone out who isn’t doing their job! EJ and Greenway are looking less than average LB’s right now and our coaches look like S%$$! I will not be back tell next year – I’m hunting because my dog plays harder then the Vikings players and I will give my tickets to people who want them and I have great seats. I won’t charge anyone to go watch that team!!!!

  • johnnycmoun

    your an idiot Terrence go back to your trailer in Wi!

    • Ferris Lind

      at least he can lay his head down at night knowing his team is 3-0 not 0-3

  • No money for the Vikings or Zygi

    The Lions looked like they did everything possible to give the win to the Vikings. Really, the Lions are worse than a losing high school team yet they beat the Vikings. What does that tell you?

    They’re clearly headed straight for the goal post of their 51st year of not winning a Super Bowl.

    That bum Zygi needs to take his losing team out of Minnesota. NO MONEY FOR A STADUIM ZYGI, get it?

  • Southern MN

    Iowa does not have a pro football team and neither does MN. They could move the team down 35 W. Right by Diamond Joes. There is wide open corn fields to put up a new stadium. Let Iowa tax payers buy them a new stadium. Problem sloved. Easy move and no new highways to build.

  • Camper

    I demand the State of Minnesota buy the Vikings a brand new stadium so that the Vikings can stop loosing so many games.

  • Get a life

    We didn’t lose. They did. All you ramped up fans please stop saying WE. I don’t think you were on the field. They lost. Yes THEY lost. The people on the field lost. And does it really matter? It’s only football.

  • AL

    Fire Freezie.

  • Anywhere but Minnesota

    Good bye Zig you loser Take your losing team out of Minnesota. Not just LA any place that could use a good laugh

  • You guys are right

    There’s more to life than the vikings.



  • Gina

    Sports are so irrelevant & unimportant. Uneducated ghetto Chimps running with a ball. Mullet wearing rednecks with painted faces cheering them on. Billionaire team owners fleecing the gullible public for their hard earned wages just to fatten their own fortune. What a scam..Suckers!!

    • Tou


    • Louis de Pitera

      Great post!

  • The answer is buzz cuts.

    Call me old-fashioned but I think it would help if they all got buzz cuts and were clean shaven. It must be hard to project a professional athletic image with dirty hair down to your waist.

    Maybe if you want to play football like a professional, you should start by looking like a professional?

    • Buzzed

      A change in appearance is no substitute for the reality of poor management, coaching and a lack of unified talent.

  • hard rains

    For an intelligent review, I think pro football has taken a page from pro wrestling. Not entirely, but when you consider that one bad referee call can cost a team momentum and ultimately the game, or that a coach or assistant coach can make obviously bad decisions, the game can be controlled at any point. The outcome of a whole season can be pre-determined, for the whole NFL.

  • just sayin

    What? Oh I was golfing… Didn’t miss much and had a better time.

  • Dude name like a lady..

    You can’t expect our coach to show some intensity or rage…… The DUDE’s name is LESLIE, what do u expect……. ;P

  • mike

    Alright everyone, we all now can all agree, it’s time to put Webb or Ponder in as the starting quarterback. McNabb is gonna wind up next to Brett Farve. No more has-been QBs, get Webb in there or phase out the coach.

  • Lagerhps

    Who in the fiery blazes is giving the half-time speeches which seem to have an effect akin to feeding the team tranquilzers?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Thursday Night Football

Listen Live