The Minnesota Vikings rode running back Adrian Peterson all the way to the playoffs a year ago. Peterson has been the top back in the NFL for the past few years, and was within breathing distance of breaking the all-time record for rushing yards in a single season a year ago. When the Vikings 2013 season kicked off against the Detroit Lions, it was Reggie Bush and Joique Bell who stole the show.
Coach Jim Schwartz and his Detroit Lions made an early statement in their home opener at Ford Field. The final score read 34-24, but the significance was far greater than ten points. Not only did they beat a divisional rival who was a playoff team a year ago, they also showed how much they have grown as a team in that time.
Detroit did the unthinkable against Minnesota, they outrushed Adrian Peterson. Controlling the line of scrimmage every play after Peterson’s opening carry, which went for 78 yards and a touchdown. Both lines for the Lions played well, enabling newly acquired Reggie Bush to spring free for 191 total yards in a game in which he looked as if he was back at USC.
Bush ran for 90 yards and caught 101 more, proving he can be exactly what Detroit envisioned him to be when they signed him in free agency this year. Behind Bush, people were unsure as to what impact the other running backs would have. Those questions also were answered in this game. Mikel Leshoure was nowhere to be seen, but Joique Bell roared loud in this one.
Bell may have only seen six carries, however he found paydirt twice.
Throw in another 350 yard passing day for Matthew Stafford, who also had a pair of touchdowns, and it looks like Detroit might finally be poised to reach their potential.
For Bush, this is only a glimpse of what the future holds in Motor City. “It’s definitely what we talked about. While (defenses) are worried about Calvin and some of the other guys, we’re just taking advantage of it. I think you saw a little bit of what’s to come in the future.”
If he is correct, Detroit might turn back the clocks to 2011 and find themselves in the playoffs. That has been a rare occurrence for that team, but they most certainly have the talent on their roster to make it happen.
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express
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