NFC North: Week 2 Recap

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Sep 20, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) rushes with the ball in the second half against the Detroit Lions at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings won 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

50. 26. 60. Final. 16

The story in this one was Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who took the field in Minnesota for the first time since December 1st, 2013. That also happened to be the last time Peterson rushed for 100 yards in a game. Well, after Sunday’s performance against the Lions, that streak is over.

Peterson looked like his usual self with an incredible combination of speed, power, quickness and raw athleticism that is un-matched at the running back position in today’s NFL. He is a freak, and showed up in a big way for the Vikings on Sunday, finishing with 134 yards on 29 carries. He also chipped in two receptions for 58 yards.

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  • Peterson did fumble twice in the game, with one being recovered by the Lions’ defense. Obviously, that is something he must work on, but I fully expect Peterson to be able to clean that up. Fumbles have never been a serious problem with him in the past.

    Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had a very efficient afternoon. Peterson’s success on the ground allowed Bridgewater to simply manage the game, and he did so well, completing 14-of-18 passes for 153 yards. Bridgewater did have a touchdown pass on the afternoon, a five-yard strike to tight end Kyle Rudolph.

    The Vikings’ quarterback also ran in a one-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, after a Peterson touchdown call was reversed by video review.

    The Lions’ offense struggled to get anything going against the Vikings’ defense, particularly with the running game. Exciting rookie Ameer Abdullah carried the ball six times for nine yards, while starter Joique Bell had two yards on only four carries. The Lions never really gave their rushing attack much of a chance, but it clearly was not productive.

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  • Quarterback Matthew Stafford put up a decent stat-line (32/53 for 286 yards, two touchdowns and one interception), but his inconsistent play showed up once again on Sunday. Stafford is a solid NFL quarterback, but if he is having to throw the ball 53 times in a game, the Lions are usually going to be in trouble.

    He mostly looked good on Sunday, but he will need help from Abdullah, Bell and the running game if the Lions’ offense is going to be productive.

    Calvin Johnson got back to his productive ways on Sunday with an impressive 10-reception 83-yard performance that included an 11-yard touchdown reception from Stafford. Golden Tate chipped in six receptions for 80 yards, while tight end Eric Ebron had another impressive performance with five receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown.

    The Vikings now sit at 1-1, after one terrible performance and one good victory. The Lions are 0-2 and may be in trouble if they do not turn this around quickly. That being said, both of these teams have plenty of talent to make some noise in the NFC playoff race. I do not currently think either are good enough to seriously challenge Green Bay, but a wildcard position could certainly still come from the NFC North.

    Next: Bears vs. Cardinals Recap