After grading the first two games of the season, Pro Football Focus offered some analysis on what is plaguing the Lions offense as it relates to Matthew Stafford’s poor start.
To open the second half, fullback Zach Line rushed for one yard to put the Vikings up by 13 over the Lions. Peterson carried 29 times for 134 yards, while the Lions produced 38 yards on 16 rushes. The first three plays all went to Peterson, who rushed for 45 yards on the 75-yard possession.
Lance Moore and Theo Riddick lost fumbles for Detroit and the Lions also missed a chance to swing the momentum in the third quarter when Adrian Peterson fumbled the ball while going into the end zone.
Tate and the Lions will get a chance at revenge against Minnesota in Week 7, when the Vikings travel to Detroit.
Playing in his first home game in 21 months, Peterson was warmly welcomed back by Vikings fans. Lions coach Jim Caldwell seemed to downplay the complaints, saying hits like Barr’s were part of a “tough, hard-nosed game”. “He is a great back, but nevertheless, we just did not play as well as we are capable of in all phases”. Still there was some missed opportunities by them as a whole that they will need to improve on in order for defenses to respect them and take some of the pressure of the running game.
Several Lions lauded Stafford’s toughness, but he was inefficient as he played through pain, completing 32-of-53 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns.
“We had a lot of success in our one-on-one matchups, but communicating our calls and stuff like that, that’s probably what it was”, Lucas said.
Of course, the Lions aren’t the same physically dominant team without their defensive leader, tackle Ndamukong Suh, who signed a mega free agent deal with the Miami Dolphins in the offseason.
“I was confident going into the ballgame”, Zimmer said. “I wasn’t as aware as maybe – because it was pretty quick we were back on the field, and I didn’t realize that his arm was hurting a little bit, but it quickly got better and it didn’t affect us after that”.
Peterson also turned an almost-sack by Kyle Van Noy into a 49-yard reception, when Bridgewater underhanded him the ball as he fell. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers finally got his game together and managed to pick apart the Lions, finishing the day with over 400 yards and a ridiculous 83.3% completion percentage. Teddy Bridgewater threw for one touchdown and ran for another with no turnovers. We know they’re a big-play team.
Look, you don’t want to negate a penalty for a late hit by responding with cheap shots of your own, but teammates should definitely be more fired up and upset if their quarterback gets pushed late the way Stafford was.
Eric Ebron caught the other touchdown pass for the Lions.