By Joe Perovich | KFAN Productions Intern
The Detroit Lions entered this game having lost 18 consecutive games, and 23 of their previous 24.
The Minnesota Vikings, 1-0, entered their second game of the season with a lot to play for. You have your traditional "must-win" games (e.g. facing elimination), and then you have that bizarre strain of must-win games. You know, the – "We cannot let ourselves be the ones that relaxed and allowed them to win." That team gets remembered. For example, many may recall that it was the Baltimore Ravens who allowed the 2007 Miami Dolphins to escape their place in history as the first NFL franchise to go 0-16 in a season.
Conceptually, the strong team will steamroll the downtrodden team, and in an unforgiving manner. There are teams that do all the right things, and then there was the 2000-to-2010 Detroit Lions.
Consistency-wise, the 2009 Minnesota Vikings were probably still a week or two away from becoming the one capable of steamrolling opponents.
In Week 1 at Cleveland and Week 2 at Detroit, the Vikings went into the half without the lead – versus a pair of teams that went a combined 4-28 the year prior.
Talent seems to always find a way, however. The second halves turned out to be glimpses of the not-too-distant future.
Vikings first two games, first half: 17 points scored, 23 points allowed.
Vikings first two games, second half: 44 points scored, 6 points allowed. Will you remember the Vikings-Lions game on Sept. 20, 2009 as one of the most revered 'Brett Favre performances' of his career?
When the game ended, so did the greatest single-game completion percentage of Favre's career.
He completed 23-of-27, or 85.19 percent, of his pass attempts. From the beginning of 1995 through 1997, Favre secured three consecutive NFL MVP Awards. In that season stretch, he had just one performance that exceeded 80 percent in passing efficiency. Even with Favre's proficient day, Chad Greenway "nearly led the Vikings in receiving yards" if we can slightly amend the rules and allow passes thrown from both teams!
Bernard Berrian led the Vikings with 46 yards receiving, but Greenway logged 45 interception return yards by picking off then-rookie Matthew Stafford twice. And because he felt that that wasn't disrupting Detroit's offensive flow enough as it was, he decided to jump on a Kevin Smith fumble in the 3rd quarter to zap another Motor City drive.
What the pair of Chad Greenway interceptions can indicate to the viewer is that his off-the-field preparations were sound. Neither interception play seemed to be propelled by an improvised/instinctual movement by the Hawkeye alum. His positioning on both takeaways was a clear sign he had sniffed out what Stafford and the offense tended to run in those particular formations, and all that remained was baiting the rookie quarterback into making the incorrect read.
To stay consistent with the defensive theme, the edge rush provided by Ray Edwards, and particularly Jared Allen, was daunting.In the year 2014, we can claim we've seen Jared Allen excel when chasing history and Jared Allen excel when Aaron Rodgers is anywhere within 50 sq. mi., but this was a incomparable sort of provocation. For reasons that make plenty of sense, welcome to the angriest game that Jared Allen has ever played.
We don't care who started this and how far back it goes, we're just glad neither suffered career-threatening knee injuries! Personally, I loved it. We receive little reminders now and again that multi-millionaires are still capable of being affected, and even inspired by competition. Jared Allen seemed to remind us of this on more occasions than most.
On to millionaires that don't seem to be inspired by competition – The exact moment Jeff Backus decided he would mail-it-in for the rest of his career was caught on camera.
And that was your weekly "A.P. is Not Of This World" reminder GIF.
It only goes down from here – the uneventful Week 3 vs. 49ers game, next Thursday.