Minnesota 23
Detroit 13



 Scoring  |   Statistics   |   
FINAL 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
1st Quarter
Drive: 7 plays, 59 yards in 4:00
Key Plays:
  Harrington 8-yard pass to Hakim on 3rd-and-4 to Detroit 45
  15-yard roughing-the-passing penalty on Vikings' Mixon to Minnesota 20
  Harrington 15-yard run to Minnesota 5
Drive: 7 plays, 16 yards in 2:52
Key Plays:
  Drummond 24-punt return to Minnesota 24
  Harrington 13-yard pass to Rogers on 3rd-and-9 to Minnesota 10
2nd Quarter
Drive: 3 plays, 36 yards in :57
Key Plays:
  Culpepper 22-yard pass to Williams to Detroit 14
Drive: 6 plays, 98 yards in 2:51
Key Plays:
  Williams 61-yard run to Detroit 36
  Culpepper 29-yard pass to Burleson on 3rd-and-5 to Detroit 2
Drive: 6 plays, 77 yards in :38
Key Plays:
  Frerotte 72-yard pass to Moss to Detroit 3
3rd Quarter
Drive: 8 plays, 39 yards in 4:21
Key Plays:
  Bly interception at Detroit 42
  13-yard pass inteference penalty on Vikings' Irving on 3rd-and-11 to Minnesota 35
  Harrington 11-yard pass to Schroeder to Minnesota 24
Drive: 6 plays, 85 yards in 2:29
Key Plays:
  Frerotte 9-yard pass to Williams on 3rd-and-8 to Minnesota 26
Vikings Att Cmp Yds Td Int Lg
Frerotte, Gus1981841172
Culpepper, Daunte1371050029
Lions Att Cmp Yds Td Int Lg
Harrington, Joey42242350334
Vikings Att Yds Avg Lg Td
Williams, Moe13957.3610
Culpepper, Daunte2168.0142
Campbell, Kelly11212.0120
Smith, Onterrio231.530
Frerotte, Gus410.310
Lions Att Yds Avg Lg Td
Bryson, Shawn17492.9111
Harrington, Joey3196.3150
Gary, Olandis581.660
Drummond, Edward111.010
Vikings Rec Yds Avg Lg Td
Williams, Moe6549.0220
Moss, Randy38528.3720
Campbell, Kelly28542.5721
Kleinsasser, Jim23015.0180
Burleson, Nate12929.0290
Smith, Onterrio166.060
Lions Rec Yds Avg Lg Td
Rogers, Charles6549.0180
Schroeder, Bill45413.5230
Ricks, Mikhael33913.0340
Bryson, Shawn3196.390
Hakim, Az-Zahir3165.380
Cobourne, Avon22110.5130
Gary, Olandis11313.0130
Schlesinger, Cory11313.0130
Jefferson, Shawn166.060
Tackles-Solo-Assists Sacks-Yds (unofficial)
Vikings T S A Sk-Yd
Russell, Brian9450-0
Mixon, Kenny7430-0
Claiborne, Chris7430-0
Williams, Brian7340-0
Walker, Denard6510-0
Biekert, Greg5320-0
Irvin, Ken5320-0
Johnstone, Lance4221.5-9.5
Crockett, Henri3210-0
Williams, Kevin3210-0
Nattiel, Mike2200-0
Robbins, Fred211.5-.5
Kelly, Eric1100-0
Henderson, E.J.1100-0
Lyon, Billy1100-0
Chavous, Corey1100-0
Lions T S A Sk-Yd
Green, Barrett9540-0
Harris, Corey7520-0
Bly, Dre5411-1
Holmes, Earl5410-0
Bailey, Boss4220-0
Goodman, Andre3300-0
Walker, Brian3030-0
Rogers, Shaun2200-0
Hall, James2110-0
Redding, Cory2110-0
Porcher, Robert1101-1
DeVries, Jared1010-0
Vikings INT Yds Avg Lg Td
Russell, Brian111.010
Chavous, Corey100.000
Walker, Denard100.000
Lions INT Yds Avg Lg Td
Bly, Dre100.000
Vikings No. Yds Avg TB In20 Lg
Johnson, Eddie628647.72055
Lions No. Yds Avg TB In20 Lg
Jett, John521042.01251
Punt Returns
Vikings No. Yds Avg Lg Td
Howry, Keenan2115.580
Lions No. Yds Avg Lg Td
Hakim, Az-Zahir34414.7200
Drummond, Edward12626.0260
Kickoff Returns
Vikings No. Yds Avg Lg Td
Clark, Kenny23316.5210
Avery, John14848.0480
Howry, Keenan11818.0180
Lions No. Yds Avg Lg Td
Drummond, Edward48922.3320
Redding, Cory155.050
Vikings XP/XPA FG/FGA Dist(Made/Fail)
Elling, Aaron2/21/237 21 
Lions XP/XPA FG/FGA Dist(Made/Fail)
Hanson, Jason1/12/227 37 
Vikings No. Lost Forced O D
Frerotte, Gus10010
Nattiel, Mike00100
Lions No. Lost Forced O D
Bryson, Shawn10000
Harrington, Joey10010
Raiola, Dominic00010
Referee- Tom White, Umpire- Jim Quirk, Head linesman- Ed Camp, Line judge- Tom Stephan, Field judge- B Cheek, Side judge- Joe Larrew, Back judge- Bob Lawing
Attendance - Time
60,865 ; 3:22
Team Statistics VikingsLions
First downs1422
3rd-Down Efficiency5 - 146 - 15
4th-Down Efficiency0 - 00 - 1
Total Net Yards414302
Total Plays5670
Average Gains7.44.3
Net Yards Rushing12777
Average Per Rush5.83.0
Net Yards Passing287225
Completed-Attempted15 - 3224 - 42
Yards Per Pass8.45.1
Sacked-Yards Lost2 - 22 - 10
Had Intercepted13
Punts-Average6 - 47.75 - 42.0
Return Yardage1270
Punts-Returns2 - 114 - 70
Kickoffs-Returns4 - 995 - 94
Interceptions-Returns3 - 11 - 0
Penalties-Yards11 - 1259 - 56
Fumbles-Lost1 - 02 - 0
Time Of Possession25:2534:35

News: 9/22/03

The Lions took a step back Sunday. Not a half step, but a full one.

It got so bad at one point -- the Lions committed three straight penalties while they were trying to punt -- that you almost wanted to make sure it was Steve Mariucci coaching and not Bobby Ross or Marty Mornhinweg.

That's how bad it was.

"We have a lot of improvement to do, and that does not happen overnight," Mariucci said after a 23-13 loss to the Vikings. "That's my job, to get this team better."

Sunday, however, was not better. Consider:

* The Lions had nine penalties for 56 yards.

* The defense gave up three huge plays -- two 72-yard pass plays and a 61-yard running play.

And you thought we had seen the last of that with Mariucci's arrival.

What's worse is this loss could not have come at a more inopportune time.

After last week's dreadful performance at Green Bay, the Lions needed to bounce back with some punch. But with games in Denver and San Francisco the next two weeks, the Lions are in jeopardy of starting 1-4.

"Those teams early in the schedule have the chance to be in the playoffs, so we are finding out how we stack up against teams like that," Mariucci said. "We are finding out how far we still have to go. and we have some improving to do. It's obvious to everyone in that locker room."

Let's be real here. This isn't about some playoff run. Fans who had postseason dreams after the Lions beat the Cardinals in the opener were living a pipe dream.

When you're a team that won just five games -- none on the road -- the previous two seasons, you're looking for respectability first.

And that normally comes with consistent improvement.

"This team has changed. It's a different team from the last couple of years," guard Eric Beverly said. "But still, we have to play better. We're not doing that now. We have some spurts, at times. But we need consistency on both sides of the ball."

Things just aren't getting better.

Quarterback Joey Harrington struggled again, throwing three more interceptions -- he had three last week.

The running game is nonexistent. By now, Mariucci could have hoped that one of his three running backs would have taken the lead. It hasn't happened. Shawn Bryson (49) and Olandis Gary (8) combined for just 57 of the Lions' 77 rushing yards Sunday.

"I'd like the cream to come to the top here, one of these days," Mariucci said. "Until then, we're sharing the load."

Then there's the defense -- or lack of it.

And that was bad, especially since Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper didn't play in the second half because of an injury.

So, you'd think the Lions would have had a shot to win, especially with a 10-0 lead after the first quarter. Nope.

Culpepper scored two touchdowns -- in the first half.

Randy Moss had just three catches and no touchdowns. But one of his catches was a 72-yarder -- over Andre Goodman.

Nonetheless, defensive end Robert Porcher is still positive the Lions are headed in the right direction.

"It's not a step back," Porcher said. "We're moving forward. We lost a game. On our side of the ball, we gave up some big plays. It's not a step back."

It certainly looked like one.

Just ask any die-hard Lions fan


Daunte Culpepper gave up his body to give the Minnesota Vikings the lead, and Gus Frerotte used his arm to give them the victory.

Culpepper scored on a pair of runs before leaving with an injury and Frerotte connected with Kelly Campbell on a 72-yard touchdown to lead the unbeaten Vikings to a 23-13 win over the Detroit Lions.

The win was the sixth straight for Minnesota (3-0), dating to last season.

"We're really proud to be 3-0," Vikings safety Brian Russell said. "We're enjoying that right now."

Culpepper's second touchdown run of the second quarter was a two-yarder up the middle on a broken pass play, and put the Vikings up 13-10. But as he dove for the end zone, Culpepper suffered a lower back contusion and had to leave the game. X-rays were negative, but he did not return.

"It's sore right now," Culpepper said. "I'll get an MRI when I get back and see what's really going on in there. One of the linebackers hit me in the back with an elbow or knee. It's part of the game, but I thought he could have held up after I was in the end zone."

Frerotte came in and made an immediate impact, throwing a 72-yard pass to Randy Moss on his second play. The deep strike set up a 21-yard field goal by Aaron Elling that put Minnesota up 16-10 at halftime.

"Gus Frerotte is a very capable player," Lions quarterback Joey Harrington said. "He's shown it all through his career. In this league, the difference betwen a starter and a backup is very minimal."

Minnesota's early success with Frerotte looked like it could be a fluke when he threw an interception early in the third quarter, but the 10-year veteran hooked up with Campbell on a long touchdown with 8:02 left in the third quarter.

Frerotte finished 8-of-19 for 154 yards and a touchdown with an interception, but was steady enough to hold the lead. Before he left, Culpepper was 7-of-13 for 105 yards. His two rushing touchdowns gave him 24 for his career, a Vikings team record.

"I just tried not to screw up and throw dangerous throws," Frerotte said. "I said let's eat some clock and let the defense make some plays."

The Lions (1-2) drove late in the game to try to get close, but had three incompletions and a run stuffed at the one-yard line.

Harrington was 24-of-42 for 235 yards with three interceptions as Detroit fell to Minnesota for the third straight time.

"I felt good," Harrington said. "I just made a couple of bad decisions. We had a couple of penalties that hurt us at bad points... and then I followed that with some bad decisions. Those things add up."

Detroit took an early 10-0 lead on a five-yard touchdown run by Shawn Bryson and a 27-yard field goal by Jason Hanson. But the momentum of the game changed early in the second quarter when the Lions were charged with three straight penalties as they tried to punt.

Once the Lions finally got a punt off without an infraction, rookie Keenan Howry returned it to the Detroit 36. Three plays later, Culpepper got Minnesota on the board with his first touchdown run, a 14-yarder.

"We have nine penalties," Lions coach Steve Mariucci said. "That's a few too many. The three in a row on the punt really hurt us."

The Lions have lost back-to-back games after opening the season with a 42-24 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

"Big plays have haunted us for two weeks," Detroit defensive end Robert Porcher said.

Detroit has lost 10 of its last 11 division games.

Scott's Game Commentary:

You can stick a fork in the Lions 2003 season! They had a golden opportunity to erase their pathetic effort last week in Green Bay and for the first quarter it looked like they were on the right track. The Lions scored there only touchdown of the game on their first drive after Joey Harrington had a rare 15 yard run that setup a touchdown. After Drummond had a good punt return the Lions kicked a field goal and it looked like the demons from last week were behind them. Wrong! In typical honolulu blue and silver fashion, they self destructed and before the half. Donte Culpepper, who is 6-0 against the Lions, had two rushing touchdowns before he left the game with an injury. The second touchdown, which was a back breaker, was setup by a 61 yard rush by Moe Williams after rookie LB Boss Bailey forgot how to tackle. After the Lions blew a golden opportunity to get some points on the board before the half, backup Gus Frerotte found Randy Moss wide open after CB Andre Goodman lost his coverage. As bad as the Lions were playing, they still had numerous opportunities to get back in the game. Unfortunately, everytime they got into the red zone, Harrington would throw an interception. Even after the game, Harrington admitted he had some ill advised passes that cost his team dearly. They certainly did and the Lions now look like the teams from the 2001 and 2002 seasons.


*Offense: --- F. After the first two drives, the Offense could only manage three points the rest of the game. That is just pathetic. What is even worse is when they can't get a touchdown late in the game with four cracks from within the two yard line. The running game, ranked dead last in the NFL, is going to struggle every game this year. Olandis Gary continues to look lost on the field as he had eight yards on five attempts. His counterpart, Shawn Bryson was no better. Too bad the Lions didn't think about drafting a running back that could play instead of one that was injured (Artose Pinner). Harrington continues to show that his first weeks performance was nothing but a fluke. He has six interceptions and no touchdowns in his last two games. Joey has a lot to prove his doubters that he was worthy of being picked 2nd overall in the draft. Charles Rogers was invisible as were the rest of the receivers. With Denver coming up next week on the road, the offense really has their work cut out for them.

*Defense: --- D+. As usual, the Defense plays good but gives up big plays that end up killing them. Former Lion Gus Frerotte had two 72 yard throws that resulted in 14 points. Poor tackling and a lack of a pass rush has really hurt the Defense as it has the past few years. Dre Bly did a decent job covering Moss and had his third interception of the year. The Defense played a good fourth quarter keeping the Lions in the game, but the fact remains that they gave up three plays that resulted in 17 points which was the difference in the game.

*Special Teams: --- D. This was one of the worst efforts from the special teams in years. Three straight penalities on a punt? Getting an offsides call that gave the Vikings a first down and allowed them to run crutial time off the clock in the 4th? That is just inexcusable! Eddie Drummond had some nice returns before being carted off with a knee injury. Jason Hanson had two field goals and is the Lions only consistant player.

*Coaching: --- F. Mariucci play calling was awful late in the game. On forth and goal down ten, why do you take a chance in the end zone? The Lions could of gotten an easy three points and had time to tie the game. Unfortunately, Mooch decided to go for it, Harrington had an incomplete pass and that sealed the Lions fate. Mooch seemed to make the point that he is stuck with what he has (which is the truth) and its going to be one long season.

*Overall: --- F. After playing a flawless 1st quarter and getting a 10-0 lead, the Lions played like they did the past two years. That resulted in a 1-2 record and heading into Denver and San Francisco before the bye week. The bottom line is the Lions are going to be 1-4 before heading back to Ford Field in a month to play Dallas, which is no gimme. So much for my 7-9 pre-season prediction. Best case scenario looking at the remaining schedule would be 5-11. I hate to say the season is over after three games, but with all the injuries this team has (as usual) and the schedule ahead of them, I see no chance of salvaging the season. Next weeks game is going to be another blowout like we saw in Green Bay.

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