Lions 26

(3-0, 2-0 away)

Vikings 23

(0-3, 0-2 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, September 25, 2011

Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, MN 

1 2 3 4 OT T
DET 0 0 10 13 326
MIN 6 14 0 3 023

Top Performers

Passing: M. Stafford (DET) - 378 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: A. Peterson (MIN) - 17 CAR, 78 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: B. Pettigrew (DET) - 11 REC, 112 YDS

Lions-Vikings Preview


At this time two years ago, the Detroit Lions were desperately searching for any victory while the Minnesota Vikings were in the midst of a great start that led to an NFC North title.

The division foes are again heading in opposite directions, but the roles are reversed.

The Lions will try to improve to 3-0 for the first time since 1980 by snapping a lengthy road losing streak to the Vikings, who will attempt to avoid their first 0-3 start in nine years.

Detroit became the first NFL team to go winless during a 16-game season in 2008, then tied the second-longest losing streak in league history in 2009 with a Week 2 loss to Minnesota before ending that 19-game slide the following Sunday.

This year, the Lions (2-0) enter Week 3 as one of only seven unbeaten teams in the NFL and riding a six-game winning streak dating back to last season. Detroit, which hasn't reached the playoffs in 12 years, defeated Kansas City 48-3 last Sunday for the most lopsided regular-season win in team history.

"It's a good start," said Matthew Stafford, who threw for 294 yards and four touchdowns. "That's the way we look at it. We've got to keep it going, though. It's a 16-game season."

The Vikings (0-2), meanwhile, are among seven winless teams, just two years removed from opening 6-0 and winning a second straight division crown.

"I think it's now the time for everyone to really challenge themselves and find out what they are doing individually wrong and get it corrected so that we won't have these problems later in the season," said quarterback Donovan McNabb, whose 71.3 passer rating is 30th in the NFL.

Stafford ranks fourth in that category at 112.0, with four of his seven touchdown passes going to Calvin Johnson.

That duo has a chance to lift the Lions to their best start since winning their first four games 31 years ago.

"We have a hard-working group of players that understand that it's not about what you've done in the past, it's what you do in the future," coach Jim Schwartz said. "... Nobody's trying to rain on any parades or anything else, but it's two games."

Detroit has lost its last 13 trips to Minnesota dating to Dec. 14, 1997. The Lions have dropped 22 of 26 overall versus the Vikings but ended a six-game losing streak in the series in the last matchup, winning 20-13 on Jan. 2 as they held Adrian Peterson to 31 yards rushing.

Peterson ran for 160 and two TDs in a 24-10 home win over Detroit last season, a game which the Vikings also entered looking to avoid their first 0-3 start since dropping four in a row to begin 2002.

They're in that position again after blowing double-digit leads in the second half of their first two games.

Peterson's 9-yard TD run just before halftime put Tampa Bay in a 17-0 hole last Sunday, but Minnesota gave up two touchdowns in the game's final seven minutes -- the last with 31 seconds left -- and lost 24-20.

"When you play as well as we were playing, to have the tide turn as quickly and dramatically as it did, that's frustrating," coach Leslie Frazier said. "We've got to come back (this week) and figure out what the problem is and get it fixed in a hurry."

Another bad second half cost Frazier's team in the season opener at San Diego, where the Vikings led 17-7 at the break but fell 24-17.

Minnesota might get some help with defensive lineman Kevin Williams expected to return from his suspension for testing positive for a banned diuretic in 2008. The six-time Pro Bowler, though, is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot and had one sack in 2010 after recording a combined 14 1/2 over the previous two campaigns.

The Vikings also are dealing with a potential off-the-field distraction. Safety Tyrell Johnson was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired early Tuesday morning.

Police say Johnson's blood alcohol content was 0.12 percent, well over Minnesota's legal limit of 0.08 percent.

"I'm very blessed and fortunate that no one got hurt because of my mistake and selfishness," he said Wednesday.

Frazier said Johnson will be in uniform against Detroit, and that any discipline would be handled internally.


Passing Leaders

M. Stafford60.342572212
S. Martin100.02700
T. Bridgewater64.429191412
M. Cassel57.742534

Rushing Leaders

J. Bell2238603.97
R. Bush762973.92
M. Asiata1645703.59
J. McKinnon1135384.80

Receiving Leaders

G. Tate99133113.44
C. Johnson71107715.28
G. Jennings5974212.66
J. Wright4258814.02

Team Averages & NFL Ranks

Total YardsDET
Yards PassingDET
Yards RushingDET
Yards AllowedDET
Pass Yds AllowedDET
Rush Yds AllowedDET

Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)

Minnesota leads 17-5
Jan 2, 2011DET 20, MIN 13
Sep 26, 2010DET 10, @MIN 24
Nov 15, 2009DET 10, @MIN 27
Sep 20, 2009DET 13, MIN 27
Dec 7, 2008DET 16, MIN 20
Oct 12, 2008DET 10, @MIN 12
Dec 2, 2007DET 10, @MIN 42
Sep 16, 2007DET 20, MIN 17
Dec 10, 2006DET 20, MIN 30
Oct 8, 2006DET 17, @MIN 26
Dec 4, 2005DET 16, MIN 21
Nov 6, 2005DET 14, @MIN 27
Dec 19, 2004DET 27, MIN 28
Nov 21, 2004DET 19, @MIN 22
Nov 23, 2003DET 14, @MIN 24
Sep 21, 2003DET 13, MIN 23
Dec 29, 2002DET 36, MIN 38
Oct 13, 2002DET 24, @MIN 31
Dec 16, 2001DET 27, MIN 24
Oct 14, 2001DET 26, @MIN 31