Adrian Peterson was warmly welcomed in his first game in Minnesota in 658 days, giving the Vikings the boost they were missing in a bad season opener.
Peterson rushed 29 times for 134 yards after receiving a pregame standing ovation out of the tunnel and a couple of “AP! AP! AP!” chants from the fans on a sun-soaked afternoon.
Teddy Bridgewater played a smart, sharp game for Minnesota (1-1) after looking lost Monday in defeat at San Francisco, throwing one touchdown and running for another while finishing 14 for 18 for 153 yards and no turnovers.
Matthew Stafford was erratic for Detroit (0-2), which fell behind 14-0 early in the second quarter and netted just 38 yards rushing against a defense that allowed 230 yards on the ground to the 49ers.
Peterson surpassed the 31 yards he rushed for at San Francisco on just his fourth attempt against the Lions, a 25-yard gain behind new right guard Mike Harris that ended when he was pushed out of bounds.
Peterson also turned an almost-sack by Kyle Van Noy into a 49-yard reception, when Bridgewater underhanded him the ball as he fell.
His performance wasn’t all pretty, though.
Three carries in the second quarter netted 1 yard. One play after Captain Munnerlyn ripped the ball away from Lions wide receiver Lance Moore and Andrew Sendejo returned it to the 6, Peterson gave it back on a tackle by James Ihedigbo. Peterson lost one later in the third quarter, too, but the recovery in the end zone was negated by Jason Jones lining up in the neutral zone.
Ihedigbo forced yet another fumble in the fourth quarter that Peterson recovered, shortly before Walsh’s second short field goal.
Bridgewater’s touchdown target at the end of Minnesota’s opening drive was tight end Kyle Rudolph, who nestled into an open crease near the goal post.
Stafford played through a sore throwing arm at San Diego and took plenty of hard hits while throwing one interception (by backup defensive end Justin Trattou) and completing 32 of 53 passes for 286 yards and two scores.
After a quiet season opener against the Chargers, Calvin Johnson was much more involved with 10 receptions for 83 yards including a nifty tiptoe touchdown catch with 34 seconds left before halftime.
On a busy day for the replay booth, that call was upheld. Peterson, on the other hand, had a touchdown run overruled by review that declared him down at the 1 before Bridgewater’s bootleg for the score.
SOURCE: AP / FOX Sports