Minnesota (1-0) at Detroit (0-1)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Detroit, MI
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 1:00 pm EDT Sun Sep 20, 2009
  • TV: FOX
Preview | Box Score | Recap

In his Minnesota Vikings debut, 39-year-old Brett Favre(notes) displayed the youthful exuberance he’s always shown on the field.

Facing a Detroit Lions team that he has dominated in his career should give him even more reason to be excited this week.

Set to make his NFL-record 271st consecutive start Sunday afternoon at Ford Field, Favre looks to lead the Vikings past the Lions, whose defensive struggles already have first-year coach Jim Schwartz searching for answers.

Favre completed 14 of 21 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, and matched former Vikings defensive lineman Jim Marshall for the league record for consecutive starts in a 34-20 victory over Cleveland on Sunday.

“I had a blast,” Favre said. “It wasn’t a 400-yard passing game, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as we win, that’s what it’s all about.”

After connecting with wide receiver Percy Harvin(notes) for a six-yard touchdown in the third quarter, Favre raced to the end zone and tackled the 21-year-old rookie.

“You don’t find too many players like that who still love the game,” Harvin said after piling up 157 all-purpose yards. “That’s what makes him special and separates him from a lot of people. For him to be that old - he’s got a daughter my age - and still has a love for the game, going to meetings and all that stuff. He’s by himself.”

Favre will be looking to improve his 23-9 mark versus the Lions. He won his last five starts against them.

He should have a good chance to extend that streak against a Detroit defense that allowed 28 first downs and 515 yards in a 45-27 loss to New Orleans on Sunday. The Saints’ Drew Brees(notes) threw for 358 yards and a team-record six touchdown passes.

“Good gracious. What wouldn’t disappoint me? Points allowed, third-down defense, red zone defense, rushing,” Schwartz said. “There’s no silver lining in that performance.”

Along with facing another top quarterback, the Lions will have to find a way to contain star running back Adrian Peterson. Detroit had little success stopping the run last week, yielding 157 yards.

Peterson rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns Sunday, including a 64-yard score in the fourth quarter when he broke five tackles and raced down the left sideline.

“Not even in video games,” Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell(notes) said Monday when asked if he has seen a similar run. “I called my family after the game. They were down in Orlando and didn’t get (to watch) the game. I told my son, who is a big Adrian fan, that you’ve got to turn on the TV and see this run because it’s something that you’ll never see again.”

Peterson’s effort was even more impressive considering he had 25 yards in the first two quarters and needed an IV at halftime after suffering a cut on his left arm.

“I gagged myself a couple times trying to get everything in my stomach out,” he said. “Normally it makes me feel better and it did. I came in and got an IV and felt recharged and rejuvenated and was ready to go to work.”

Peterson has rushed for 100 yards 17 times in 31 career games, including three straight against the Lions.

He ran for 216 yards on 47 carries as Minnesota won both matchups with Detroit last season.

After suffering through the first 0-16 season in NFL history in 2008, the Lions selected Matthew Stafford(notes) with the first overall pick in the 2009 draft. He completed 16 of 37 passes for 205 yards and three interceptions in his debut.

“Some of those balls I was throwing, I was just trying to get rid of it and not take a sack. … I’m fine,” he said. “I’ve thrown three picks in a game before. Obviously, I don’t like to lose. I wish I could play better, but I’ve got to learn from it.”

Stafford did lead the Lions to two touchdowns, one of them on an eight-play, 71-yard drive in the third quarter that he capped off with a one-yard run.

Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson(notes) caught three passes for 90 yards against New Orleans. He had two touchdowns and averaged 84.5 receiving yards versus Minnesota in 2008.

The Lions are one loss from matching the NFL’s second-longest skid at 19. The Oakland Raiders most recently lost that many consecutive games, doing it from Nov. 11, 1961–Dec. 9, 1962.

Detroit has dropped eight straight at Ford Field since its last victory, 25-20 at home over Kansas City on Dec. 23, 2007.

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Team Stat Leaders

Passing Yards
Rushing Yards
Receiving Yards


Week 4