Last week, the Vikings were put under the microscope for using their leading receiver from last year, Percy Harvin
, fewer than half of the offensive snaps. That improved greatly on Sunday in Metrodome, but with the game in the balance late in the fourth quarter Harvin was on the sidelines again.
This time, it wasn't because the Vikings were featuring offensive packages or play-calling that didn't include Harvin. Harvin was throwing up on the sidelines and bending over a garbage can several times within the final four minutes of the game.
The Vikings said Harvin was hit, and Harvin declined to get into details.
"He just took a hard hit on one of the kickoff returns that knocked the wind out of him," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said.
After throwing up, Harvin stayed near the wastebasket for two series with team doctor Sheldon Burns nearby and had a towel on his head. The Vikings said it wasn't a concussion and Harvin missed Thursday's practice with what Frazier suspected was a stomach virus.
After the Lions tied the game 20-20 with 5:20 left in regulation, Harvin returned a kick 22 yards but wasn't in the game for the three-and-out offensive series that followed. With the Vikings defense back out on the field, he was bending over the garbage can and vomiting.
"I just got a little dinged up, took a hit," Harvin said. "Took a series off and was going to come back, but unfortunately the next drive was the one they put to the end."
He ended up taking the final three series of regulation off, and the Lions ended the game with their first possession of overtime.
Sunday was the 100th meeting between the Vikings and Lions. The Vikings hold a 66-33-2 edge in the series, but had a 13-game home winning streak snapped, giving the Lions their second straight win against the purple and gold.
The final statistics didn't tell the entire story. As has become a painful custom, there are two games – the first half and the second half. In the first half, the Vikings outgained the Lions 213-50. After halftime, Detroit outgained the Vikings 308-108.
Adrian Peterson finished with 17 carries for 78 yards and a touchdown – 12 carries for 73 yards in the first half and five carries for five yards in the second half.
Michael Jenkins had the best receiving game of the year of any Vikings receiver. He was targeted 11 times, catching nine passes for 88 yards.
The Lions had two receivers top 100 yards. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew caught 11 passes for 112 yards and Calvin Johnson caught seven passes for 108 yards.
Johnson has scored six touchdowns this year – two in each of his first three games.
Nate Burleson, who entered the game leading the Lions in both receptions and yards, caught just two passes for 12 yards.
The Vikings converted just 4 of 14 third-downs on offense, including 0-for-6 in the second half.
If there was a bright spot, it was the play of the Vikings run defense. Detroit ran the ball 19 times and gained just 20 yards.
The Lions ran just 25 plays in the first half. After halftime, they ran 45 plays, while the Vikings ran just 26.
The Vikings had 10 penalties Sunday.
Detroit scored on five straight possessions in the second half to turn the 20-0 halftime deficit into a 23-20 lead.
In the third quarter, the Lions outgained the Vikings 190-6.
In the third quarter, Jared Allen moved to left DE first time this year.
The Vikings have now outscored their opponents 54-7 in the first half of their three games this season. But, they have been outscored 67-6 in the second half and overtime.
For the third straight game the Vikings built a double-digit lead before halftime. They led San Diego 17-7 at the half and had a 17-0 lead over Tampa Bay at the half prior to building a 20-0 lead over the Lions.
Peterson moved into second place all-time with 37 games with a rushing touchdown when he scored on a 6-yard run in the second quarter. He was tied with former Viking great Chuck Foreman and now trails only Bill Brown, who had rushing TDs in 42 career games.
Harvin took an end-around 39 yards in the second quarter, breaking the franchise record for career rushing yards by a wide receiver with 316 yards, breaking the old mark of 290 by Anthony Carter.
Anthony Herrera and Cliff Avril had at each another in the first quarter, blocking one another for what turned into a shoving match/fight in end zone on play that was snapped from the 22-yard line.
Ryan Longwell's field goal on the game's opening drive moved him into fifth place all-time on the team scoring list, passing Gary Anderson. Later in the quarter, Longwell would become just the 13th player to surpass the career 1,600-point mark with his second field goal of the day on the Vikings' second drive.
Former Vikings kicker Fred Cox sounded the ceremonial Gjallarhorn prior to the start of the game.
The paid attendance was 62,466 – the 138th straight sellout at the Metrodome.
The Vikings got Percy Harvin more involved against the Lions … until he got sick late in the game. Plus, we have more than 20 notes that help tell the story of the game.
The Vikings got Percy Harvin more involved against the Lions … until he got sick late in the game.