1:00 PM ET, October 14, 2001
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Vikings were back to their old ways on Sunday -- building a big lead behind a powerful offense and almost blowing it with a withering defense.The Detroit Lions didn't go down easily as the Vikings watched a 25-point lead nearly evaporate in the second half, and hung on for a 31-26 victory. "It could have gone either way," Minnesota coach Dennis Green said. "We are going to have to play much better next week against Green Bay. There's no doubt about that."
Absolutely. The Lions showed some character the way they came back after being down early. They came back, put an offense together and basically shut the Vikings down.
The Lions also gained confidence in their quarterback. Charlie Batch played well and led the comeback -- and they had an opportunity to win the game on the last drive. If they get the ball out of bounds, they have a shot at the end zone for the win.
Detroit has to feel good about that second-half performance. Now the Lions need to take that and build on it next week; if they can do that, then this game will become a positive.
ESPN.com NFL analyst Vinny Cerrato has served as director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.
Prentice became the first Vikings back to score on his first carry with the team. ... Detroit safeties Tommy Bennett (hamstring) and Kurt Schulz (back) and cornerback Bryant Westbrook (Achilles') weren't in uniform because of injuries. Safety Ron Rice (sprained ankle) and cornerback Terry Fair (sprained foot) got hurt during the game and didn't return. Lyght played with a sore shoulder. ... Carter scored his 127th TD, passing Jim Brown for fourth place on the NFL's career list. ... Chris Hovan had three of Minnesota's four sacks. ... Robert Porcher, Chris Claiborne and Shaun Rogers each had two sacks of Culpepper, sacked six times for the second straight game. ... Crowell caught nine passes for 125 yards.