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Other Week 13 Game Recaps

Week 13 Game Recap: Minnesota Vikings 21, Detroit Lions 16

What you need to know

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings continue their drive for a possible playoff spot with a mistake free performance versus the hapless Lions. Taking a page from the Colts’ offense, Brad Johnson opened the scoring for Minnesota with an 80 yard bomb to Koren Robinson on the Vikings’ first play from scrimmage.

Brad Johnson eclipsed the 25,000 yard mark for his career with 256 yards on 17 for 23 with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Johnson continues to manage the Vikings’ offense effectively and efficiently by taking very few chances and completing a high percentage of his passes.

Koren Robinson became the first Vikings’ receiver to eclipse the 100 yard mark on the season. Robinson finished with 148 yards on four catches including the 80 catch on the fly pattern to open the Vikings’ scoring.

Michael Bennett took the majority of the carries for the Vikings on the game as Mewelde Moore was suffering from an ankle ailment according to Fox. Bennett had touchdowns rushing and receiving, rushing for 79 yards on 22 carries and catching three balls for another ten yards.

Detroit Lions

The Lions somehow managed to make a game out of this late in the fourth quarter mainly due the their defense. The offense struggled throughout the game as Jeff Garcia was unable to move the ball down the field to his receivers. Without Kevin Jones they also were unable to establish any type of sustained running attack.

Jeff Garcia completed 17 of 35 attempts for 126 yards and an interception on Detroit’s final drive of the game. Garcia was short on a number of his passes and the majority of his completions were short dumps to the backs or short slants to the receivers. The Lions fans booed him early in the first quarter, as his passes seemed to float just beyond or short of his intended targets.

Artose Pinner led the Lions in rushing with 64 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. The majority of Pinner’s yards came on the Lions’ scoring drive in the fourth quarter to pull within five points. Pinner also had three catches for 39 yards.

What you ought to know

QB Brad Johnson, Pass: 17 - 23 - 256 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 8 - 0

Johnson continues to manage the Vikings’ offense effectively without the costly turnovers that plagued this team in the early season. He completed 17 of 23 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown. Johnson uses the play action fake as well as any quarterback in the league and the former Super Bowl winning quarterback’s throw to Koren Robinson on the first play from scrimmage was a thing of beauty. Johnson’s 256 yards passing put him over the 25,000 yard mark on his career.

RB Michael Bennett, Rush: 22 - 79 - 1, Rec: 3 - 10 - 1 (3 targets)

Bennett continued his success on his career against the Lions with 79 yards on 22 carries and ten yards on three catches. He had a touchdown rushing and receiving on the game.

RB Ciatrick Fason, Rush: 4 - 13 - 0

Fason spelled Michael Bennett throughout finishing with four carries for 13 yards.

RB Mewelde Moore, Rush: 1 - -6 - 0

Fox reported Moore as suffering from ankle soreness and he was limited to one carry for negative yardage.

WR Koren Robinson, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0, Rec: 4 - 148 - 1 (5 targets)

Robinson became Minnesota’s first receiver to surpass the 100 yard mark on the season. He did this after his first two receptions on the day including an 80 catch and run on the Vikings’ first play from scrimmage. Robinson finished with four catches for 148 yards.

WR Marcus Robinson, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (6 targets)

Marcus Robinson had three catches for 32 yards and was Brad Johnson’s leading target. Johnson just missed a wide open Robinson on a bomb in the first half and again on a touchdown throw that was thrown a little low.

WR Nate Burleson, Rec: 2 - 26 - 0 (2 targets)

Burleson caught both balls thrown his way for 26 yards. He played in three and four wide receiver sets but seems to be recovering from his early season injuries as he also served as the Vikings’ punt returner.

WR Travis Taylor, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (2 targets)

Taylor had 14 yards on his only catch of the day.

TE Jim Kleinsasser, Rec: 4 - 26 - 0 (4 targets)

Kleinsasser appeared to steal any production that normally would have been Jermaine Wiggins. He turned in four catches for 26 yards on the afternoon.

TE Jermaine Wiggins

Wiggins was noticeably absent from the Vikings’ passing game.

PK Paul Edinger 0 - 0 FG, 3 - 3 XP, 3 points

Edinger was three for three on his extra point attempts. He was also forced into punting duty in the third quarter after an injury to Chris Kluwe on a Detroit roughing the kicker penalty.

MIN Rush Defense

The Vikings’ rush defense led by the massive Pat Williams contained the Lions’ backup running backs throughout the first three plus quarters. They did allow a rushing touchdown to Pinner late in the fourth quarter. Minnesota’s leading tackler on the day was Antoine Winfield with five tackles.

MIN Pass Defense

The Vikings’ pass defense limited the Lions to 126 yards total through the air. They also had an interception by Corey Chavous to seal the game in the fourth quarter. C.J. Mosley had the Vikings only sack on the day. The Vikings did have an interception return for a touchdown by Brian Williams called back on a roughing the passer penalty.

QB Jeff Garcia, Pass: 17 - 35 - 126 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 12 - 0

Garcia got the start for the Lions and had a miserable first half completing eight of 19 passes for 41 yards. Garcia heard it from the Lions’ faithful early in the game as they began the “We want Joey” chant after the Lions' first possession. Garcia seemed to have little zip on his passes and often settled for short dump off passes to the backs rather than allow plays to develop downfield. He finished with 126 yards on 17 of 35 attempts.

RB Artose Pinner, Rush: 14 - 64 - 1, Rec: 3 - 39 - 0 (4 targets)

Pinner and Bryson split carries in place of the injured Kevin Jones. Pinner was the more effective back on this Sunday with 64 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. He also contributed three catches for 39 yards.

RB Shawn Bryson, Rush: 6 - 29 - 0, Rec: 4 - 26 - 0 (6 targets)

Bryson started the contest in place of the injured Kevin Jones. Bryson was ineffective in the running game with 29 yards on six carries. He did have four catches for another 26 yards on the day.

WR Roy Williams, Rec: 4 - 34 - 0 (11 targets)

While Roy Williams was Detroit’s leading receiver on the day and was targeted 11 times, many of the passes thrown his way were uncatchable. He finished with four catches for 34 yards on the afternoon.

WR Scott Vines, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (4 targets)

Vines had two catches for ten yards as quarterback Jeff Garcia seldom allowed plays to develop for his downfield receivers.

WR Mike Williams, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (3 targets)

Williams had one catch for six yards and was targeted only three times on the day.

TE Marcus Pollard, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (5 targets)

Pollard had two catches for a total of ten yards. He did have a costly drop on one of Garcia’s better thrown balls on the day.

PK Jason Hanson 3 - 3 FG, 1 - 1 XP, 10 points

Hanson was perfect on the day with field goals from 45 yards and two from 28 yards out. He also converted his only extra point attempt.

DET Rush Defense

The Lions' defense kept the team in this game as they held the Vikings to 3.2 yards per carry. They had a number of tackles for losses on the game but spent far too much time on the field due to their team’s lack of offense. Kenoy Kennedy led the Lions in tackles with six; R.W. McQuarters had five tackles of his own.

DET Pass Defense

The Lions’ pass defense was burned early on a fly pattern on the first play of the game by Koren Robinson. They also had a couple of other lapses on third downs allowing Viking drives to continue but on the day the defense kept the Lions in the game and gave them a chance to win. Shaun Rogers and Dan Wilkinson each had a sack on the afternoon.

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