Fans typically expect their teams to be a little sloppy during opening weekend of the NFL season. That was most certainly the case with the Minnesota Vikings, and then some. The purple and gold just couldn’t get it together on Sunday against the Detroit Lions and as a result, they suffered a very disappointing week one defeat.
The frustrating part for fans was that the Vikings were in the game throughout and they even had opportunities to distance themselves from the Lions at several points in the contest. Specifically, late in the first half Minnesota had a chance to really throw some dirt on the Lions while up 14-6 with the ball, but a Christian Ponder interception let Detroit back in the game as they answered with a touchdown before the intermission.
A lot of the blame is going to fall on Ponder, which is fair. The Vikings’ quarterback didn’t play well throughout and ended his day with three interceptions and a fumble. Minnesota has no chance of making the playoffs if those trends continue.
But beyond QB play, the Vikings were just flat out sloppy. Again, you can chalk some of that up to opening week, but a lot of the mistakes were just inexcusable. Even after everything that unfolded and all the miscues, they still had a chance late in the fourth quarter. Those hopes were destroyed, though, by two penalties on third down after it looked liked they’d stopped Detroit. Letroy Guion‘s roughing the passer penalty was no doubt the bonehead play of the game. Rookie mistakes like that can be the difference between winning and losing, or in this case, at least giving the offense a chance to regain the lead.
Outside of Adrian Peterson, the Vikings have a lot of work to do if they expect to go into Solider Field next week and come out with a victory.