The Minnesota Vikings couldn't move the ball much on offense, force many turnovers or shut down Matthew Stafford, but they rode a couple of monster special teams plays to a 20-13 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon.
With Percy Harvin and Marcus Sherels proving to be the heros of the day, the Vikings managed to pull off an impressive road victory in spite of the pass offense's struggles. Harvin's 105-yard kickoff return to open the game gave Minnesota a lead that it would never relinquish, partially thanks to Sherels' 77-yard punt return score in the third quarter.
One of the game's most dynamic playmakers, Harvin made his presence felt on the absolute first play:
The 24-year-old now has five career kick return touchdowns, including at least one in each of his four NFL seasons. Just a couple quarters later, Sherels would score his first career touchdown in dazzling fashion:
Those two scores nearly put the game away, but the Lions would rally in the fourth quarter and nearly force overtime. After failing to reach the end zone in the first three quarters, Stafford led Detroit on an 11-play, 75-yard drive late in the fourth quarter to put the Lions within a touchdown of tying.
Minnesota wasn't able to run out the clock as Detroit's defense continued its strong effort, but punter Chris Kluwe pinned the ball inside the 2-yard line without much time remaining.
The Lions did have a small chance of mounting a long, game-tying drive, even converting a 4th-and-10 with the game on the line, but ultimately the Vikings' defense held on, preventing Detroit from converting another hail mary one week doing so.
Fantasy Studs/Duds: Adrian Peterson got in his usual work on Sunday, rushing 21 times for 102 times in addition to catching four passes for 20 yards, although he never scored a touchdown. Stafford finishes with 319 yards passing, with 54 of those yards going to Calvin Johnson.
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Odds: The Lions were favored by six points, so obviously those betting on them didn't win.
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Injury Info: Lions defensive end Cliff Avril left the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent back injury. He didn't return even though he was initially listed as questionable after the play. Vikings wide receiver Michael Jenkins also suffered a rib injury during the game.