MINNEAPOLIS – Move over, Brett. Adrian Peterson is taking over the struggling Minnesota Vikings offense.
With Brett Favre again unable to move the ball through the air, Peterson rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Vikings to a 24-10 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Peterson bounced off Lions tacklers all day and ripped off an 80-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that put the game out of reach, delivering the Vikings (1-2) their first victory of a season that began with Super Bowl aspirations.
After showing plenty of feistiness in losses to Chicago and Philadelphia, the Lions (0-3) lost their 22nd straight road game and 13th in a row at the Metrodome.
Detroit's dynamic rookie Jahvid Best was held to seven carries for 26 yards and left the game in the third quarter with a toe injury.
Subbing for the injured Matthew Stafford, Shaun Hill was 29 of 43 for 237 yards and a TD, but threw two interceptions in the end zone as the Lions tried to rally late.
Favre was 23 of 34 for 201 yards with one touchdown and two more interceptions on another shaky afternoon for the Vikings passing game.
So the Vikings turned to the man who carried the offense during his first two seasons in the league, before Favre arrived last year to turn the unit into a pass-first outfit.
The blocking wasn't always there for Peterson on Sunday, but it often didn't matter. He ran over, around and through the Lions defense in his biggest day since rushing for 180 yards in the season opener last year.
Peterson rushed for nearly 1,400 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, but some followers called it a "down year" for a player who has set the bar so high for himself. His longest run of the year was a 64-yarder in the opener, but the rest of his season lacked that signature Peterson flair.
It returned in a hurry in the third quarter when Peterson burst through a tiny crack, stiff-armed safety C.C. Brown and turned on the jets for the longest run of his career to give Minnesota a 24-10 lead.
The Lions came into the game tied for the NFL lead in sacks and determined to show everyone that they were no longer the NFC North doormats they have been for most of this decade.
They lost to the Bears by five points after having the winning touchdown pass wiped off the board late and then lost a shootout to Michael Vick and the Eagles last week.
Corey Williams read a screen play beautifully, slicing through a hole to undercut running back Toby Gerhart and intercept Favre's pass. He rumbled 27 yards to the Vikings 12, setting up Hill's TD pass to Tony Scheffler for a 7-0 lead.
The Lions only sacked Favre once, but they battered the 40-year-old throughout the game and had him grabbing his right shoulder in pain in the second quarter. But penalties nullified two turnovers by Favre — one a fumble on a sack and the other an interception — and led to 10 Minnesota points.
A fumble by Lions punt returner Stefan Logan set up the Vikings' first touchdown, a 23-yard play-action pass from Favre to Percy Harvin, who made an incredible diving catch in the end zone.
The normally reliable Jason Hanson missed a 44-yard field goal and the Vikings took the lead for good with a 10-play drive that Peterson finished with a punishing 6-yard run. He flattened defensive back Jonathan Wade at the end of the run for a 14-7 lead.