MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 25: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks to pass against the Minnesota Vikings at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 25, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher /Getty Images)
Calvin Johnson caught two touchdowns for the third week in a row, but his arguably biggest catch of the day didn't come in the end zone. No, it was his 40-yard reception in overtime that set the stage for Jason Hanson's 32-yard field goal, helping the Lions defeat the Vikings 26-23 in overtime. Watch Johnson's touchdown below.
The Vikings dominated this game early, taking a 20-0 lead into halftime. But when Detroit roared back to life in the second half, the Vikings could only respond with a mere three points in the second half -- and those didn't come until there was 1:11 left in the fourth quarter.
Matthew Stafford finished the game with 378 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew led all receivers with 11 catches for 112 yards. Jahvid Best carried the ball 12 times for a mere 14 yards but atoned for himself with five catches and 75 receiving yards. Johnson, meanwhile, finished with 108 yards, including this huge reception in overtime:
The Vikings saw far fewer fireworks with Donovan McNabb under center. He connected on 22 of 26 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown. Solid, perhaps, but not good enough. Adrian Peterson carried the ball 17 times for 78 yards -- gaining more than half of those yards on a single 43-yard gain. He also scored a touchdown.
But when the Vikings needed a critical first down on fourth-and-short in the second half, the Vikings turned to Toby Gerhart. The rookie thrives in short-yardage situations, but in hindsight it seems silly not to keep feeding Peterson the ball.
The Lions are 3-0 for the first time in 31 years, winning in Minnesota for the first time since 1997.