The View from Section 123
Cloudy, rainy, cold and dreary outside. Is this Detroit?
No, we're in Minneapolis -- thank the Lord.
Inside the Metrodome, it's the view from Section 123 -- old baseball press box -- corner view from where the brainiest of experts will follow the Vikings against Detroit on this Veterans Day. Ain't it pretty?
Prettier would be a Vikings victory over Detroit to avoid last place in the NFC North with six games to go after today. So, from here on out -- here's what we're seeing/hearing/observing from our perch behind home plate...
11:28 a.m: It's official. Percy Harvin's sprained ankle has him on the sidelines to start this contest. That means if Christian Ponder wants to complete a few passes today, one of four players will need to step up (as will Ponder, in getting these gentlemen the ball): Jarius Wright, Kyle Rudolph, Jerome Simpson and John Carlson.
11:29 a.m.: When will the crowd turn on Ponder in favor of Joe Webb? Our guess is after the first three-and-out.
11:53: A little band called Led Zeppelin has a song playing in the stadium. Not loud enough.
11:54: We love this part of the game -- just to see who gets the loudest ovation. With the defense in the spotlight this weekend...that is: Jared Allen. Not even close, as No. 69 runs on the field with the American flag to honor our nation's true heroes: those who defend this great land (including Detroit). Tearing up here.
11:58: During national anthem, huge "card stunt" to spell out love for vets. Very impressive. Here's the view from Section 123:
12:02: Blair Walsh kicks off to Lions. Motor City Kitties start on their own 10. Not much...punt for Detroit after a few first downs.
12:08: Ponder, without Percy, takes the field.
12:13: Jarius Wright catches a bomb for a 54-yard-gain. First and goal at the one. Rookie dazzles. Nice pass from the QB, who surpassed last week's pass total in one toss.
12:17: VIKINGS 7, LIONS 0 -- Wright gets the TD on a three-yard pass from Ponder.
12:19: Vets shown eating cat food sandwiches on the big screen. One vet almost hurls That's entertainment!Reminds me of a party in Duluth in 1986.
12:21: Interception Vikings at the 25-yard-line by good-guy Chad Greenway.
12:25: Ponder somehow completes a pass to himself -- for a loss of 15 yards.
12:26: VIKINGS 10, LIONS 0 -- Walsh picks up Ponder, hitting a 48-yarder.
12:43: Lions on the move, as Stafford hits Calvin Johnson at the 17-yard-line. On third and short, Kevin Williams gets huge sack. Field goal unit on. Big save.
12:43: VIKINGS 10, LIONS 3 -- Hanson hits a 41-yarder to get Detroit on board.
12:51: After dropping swing pass, Adrian Peterson runs it out to the 30-yard line for a 15-yard gain. Ponder, scrambling, follows it with a 20-yard run.
12:56: Best Tweet so far, from Paul Charchian:
12:55: VIKINGS 13 , LIONS 3 -- Drive stalls at the 5. Blair Walsh gets the FG.
12:56: Before the kick, AP wanted to go on 4th and short:
1:07: With 2:28 left in half, Vikes get ball back. Two-minute offense here? Or will they sit on it?
1:10: They'll go nowhere fast and punt is what they'll do. Lions get ball at 26 after great Kluwe punt.
1:18: Everson Griffin sacks Stafford on third and eight. His celebration dance lasts longer than time itself.
1:19: With 1:23 left in half, Vikes get ball back. Two-minute offense here? Or lethargy? Uh, lethargy. As they go three and out. Scattered boos heard throughout stadium.
1:24: Twitterverse wonders about the Purple play calling there:
1:38: Second half starts with Sherels bringing it back to 38. Drive stalls on Detroit 41. Another great Kluwe punt pins Lions on their 7-yard-line. Detroit can't do a thing with it. Vikes get the ball back at the Lions' 47.
1:50: Stat of game so far:
1:53: Ponder hits Aromashodu for 31-yards. First and goal from the three. Drive stalls at the five as the Vikes lose a few yards. Field goal. That's not going to cut it against the Bears and Packers.
1:53: VIKINGS 16, LIONS 3 -- Walsh hits a 23-yarder to make it a 13-point game.
2:01: Calvin Johnson brings down a 50-yard toss from Stafford. First and goal Lions.
2:02: VIKINGS 16, LIONS 10 -- Stafford to Pettigrew for 16 yard TD pass.
2:08: Litchfield's John Carlson checks in with an 11-yard catch for a first down.
2:11: VIKINGS 24, LIONS 10 -- Ponder hits TE Kyle Rudolph for a 20-yard TD pass. Two point conversion good, as AP runs it in.
2:21: Lions driving again...looking for quick strike after the Vikings TD. Already at the Minnesota 1-yard-line.
2:22: VIKINGS 24, LIONS 17 -- Stafford tosses TD pass to Titus Young. 7-point game with 11:32 left.
2:26: Quick prediction: Ponder, who is having an OK day, will be hammered by the crowd if Vikes falter. On third and two: Ponder overthrows Rudolph. Punt.
2:28: Lions' Logan runs it back to his own 48. This one may be tied very soon.
2:32: Third and 20 after a Lions penalty. Play of game. Incomplete.
2:36: AP pushes it up the field after a 19-yard run. Vikes in business at their own 44.
2:37: VIKINGS 31, LIONS 17-- Beastly 61-yard TD run by Adrian Peterson. Vikes stretch lead.
2:42: Vikings recover fumble at 45 yard line. Antoine Winfield recovers. This one feels over.
2:43: AP gets loose again. Runs it down to the 24. Vikes get it down to 15, where drive stalls.
2:45: VIKINGS 34, LIONS 17 -- Blair Walsh hits from 33-yards out. Game?
2:51: It's slop time as Lions march down field. But with a 17-point lead -- fans are headed toward the exits.
2:53: VIKINGS 34, LIONS 24 -- Johnson gets in via an 11-yard TD pass from Stafford. Too little, too late for the Honolulu Blue.
3:00: Victory formation.
3:01: FINAL: VIKINGS 34, LIONS 24