Four downs: Peterson knew Ansah was coming

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

First down

After the Vikings beat the Lions, 28-19, star Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson looked for Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah.

“The first person I was trying to find was No. 94 because of that effort he put in,” Peterson said.

Peterson had a 75-yard run down the right sideline in the third quarter. It looked like free safety Glover Quin was the only Lions player with a chance to tackle him, and Peterson put him on the ground with a stiff arm.

But while Peterson eliminated Quin from the play, Ansah kept running and took Peterson down at the 3. The Lions defense managed to hold the Vikings to a field goal on the drive, keeping their deficit at 25-17 with 6:07 left in the third quarter.

“When I watched it, not to give up on a play, save a touchdown and (Ansah) kept their hopes of coming back alive,” Peterson said. “So, I take my hat off to guys like that.”

Second down

Meanwhile, the Lions have no choice but to tip their hat to Peterson as is typically the case when they play the Vikings.

Peterson entered Sunday’s game averaging 107 rushing yards in his 13 career games against the Lions, including a 134-yard performance in Week 2. He finished Sunday with 98 yards on 19 carries, and a 2-yard loss on his final carry kept him from notching his ninth 100-yard game against the Lions in 14 tries.

Overall, the Lions seemed to do a fine job stopping the run outside of Peterson’s long gain, as the Vikings averaged 4 yards per carry. Unfortunately, with 35 carries, Minnesota accumulated 140 yards on the ground, including another 36 from Jerick McKinnon.

“They came in and obviously they wanted to stop the run,” Peterson said. “They did a good job of just bringing pressure, trying to contain the run.”

The Lions just couldn’t contain the big plays defensively as the Vikings tallied six plays of 20-plus yards and five of at least 30.

Third down

The Vikings still had some praise for the Lions, as most teams have had after beating them this year.

“They got a good football team,” Minnesota defensive end Everson Griffen said. “They’re a good football team, but we were just a better team today. They’ve just got to find a way to get it back going.”

The Lions started with a 14-3 lead that later became a 17-6 lead in the second quarter, but inconsistency on both sides continued to plague them. Unlike the 42-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5, though, it didn’t look like the Lions gave up.

“I don’t think it was giving in,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. “We just didn’t do what we were supposed to do.”

As much as the Vikings offered praise for the Lions, Minnesota players also credited their coaches for making good adjustments and timely calls, particularly with blitzes as the Vikings sacked Matthew Stafford seven times.

“Once we got them into throwing situations, I felt pretty good about it,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said.

Fourth down

The Lions nearly didn’t have to face Adrian Peterson as the Vikings added him to the injury report Saturday as questionable due to illness.

During Fox’s broadcast, play-by-play man Chris Myers said Peterson swallowed spit while chewing tobacco on a bumpy flight to Detroit, which led to him vomiting after the plane landed. Peterson denied that report and said he didn’t know where Myers heard it.

“I think it was something I ate, just shrimp,” said Peterson, who had a big wad of tobacco in his lower lip while in the locker room.

Zimmer said he didn’t know anything about the tobacco report.

“That’s not what he told me,” Zimmer said before referencing the bad shrimp.