Adrian Peterson announced his 2013 intentions early, busting a 78-yard touchdown on his first play from scrimmage, but the Vikings lost a seesaw battle at Ford Field to the Lions Sunday, 34-24.
In fact, despite Peterson's efforts, which included two rushing touchdowns and one receiving, it was his counterpart Reggie Bush playing in his first game as a Detroit Lion who stole the show on opening day.
Bush almost became the first Lion since Billy Sims to get 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game, but instead ended with 90 yards rushing, and 101 receiving and one touchdown.
Peterson finished with 18 carries for 93 yards, but 78 of that was on the first play. The Lions shut him down as much as someone can shut Adrian Peterson down.
"Detroit did a real good job of stopping our running game, AP in particular," Coach Leslie Frazier said after the game. "We gotta see if we can get it fixed."
Christian Ponder threw three interceptions to go along with his touchdown to Peterson, completing 18 of 28 passes for 236 yards.
"We didn't do a good enough job off the line of scrimmage," Frazier said. "You can't have turnovers. It's just too much to overcome."
Jeff Locke debuted in Chris Kluwe's shoes, though perhaps he needs to wear his own. He punted five times and averaged 42.2 yards, but two were shanks that gave Detroit good field position.
One bright spot for Minnesota was Jerome Simpson, whom Ponder found seven times for 140 yards. Greg Jennings and Detroit's Calvin Johnson were non factors in the game.
Erin Henderson led the Vikes on defense with 11 tackles and Jared Allen notched a sack.
For the most part, the Lions controlled the ball and chewed the clock, dominating in time of possession and total yards.
"I put this on the defense," Allen said after the game. "You score 24 points, you should win."
Daily Norseman described Ponder perfectly: "The occasional flashes are canceled out by things that just make you shake your head."
ESPN reports that Bush dominated the Vikings despite suffering a dislocated thumb and pulled groin in the first quarter.
According to the Pioneer Press, a fourth Ponder interception was nullified by a Detroit penalty.
Tom Powers writes that relying on Ponder to win games is a "doomsday" scenario for the Vikings.
On Detroit's final scoring drive, the Vikings were called for roughing the passer and pass interference penalties -- both of which came on third downs that weren't otherwise converted. That's how you lose, folks.