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Associated Press, Published September 08 2013

Bush leads Lions to win over Vikings

DETROIT – Reggie Bush thinks he’s going to love playing with Calvin Johnson. With all that space in the middle of the field, it’s easy to see why.

Bush had a sensational debut with the Detroit Lions on Sunday, burning Minnesota for 191 yards of offense in a 34-24 victory. With the Vikings focused on stopping Johnson on the outside, the dynamic running back found plenty of room to roam.

“This is exactly what we talked about when I was thinking about coming here,” said Bush, who signed a $16 million, four-year contract in March. “We wanted to get me into space with a mismatch against a linebacker or a safety, and that’s what happened. You can do that because of Calvin.”

Bush turned a short pass into a 77-yard touchdown in the third quarter. He finished with 21 carries for 90 yards and four receptions for 101 through the air.

Bush’s performance helped the Lions overcome a slew of miscues while stopping an eight-game losing streak from last season, a miserable 4-12 year in which they were winless against NFC North teams.

“We had plays on offense, defense and special teams that can get you beat in this league, but we got through it and won the game,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “It’s important to be able to get wins on days when you are making mistakes and things aren’t going your way.”

The Vikings also made their share of mistakes, especially Christian Ponder, who threw three interceptions and lost a fumble.

“It wasn’t just Christian,” Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said. “We’ve got to play better as a team.”

Adrian Peterson did his part early, running for a 78-yard TD on his first carry and scoring on a 4-yard run to give Minnesota a 14-6 lead in the second quarter. He finished with 93 yards on 18 attempts.

“This is one of the best defensive fronts we’re going to see all year,” Peterson said.

Ponder was 18 of 28 for 236 yards with a 4-yard TD pass to Peterson that got Minnesota within three late in the third quarter. Jerome Simpson had seven receptions and 140 yards receiving for the Vikings.

The Lions finished strong, outscoring the Vikings 28-10 after an awful start.

Detroit botched a field-goal attempt on the opening drive when rookie holder Sam Martin dropped a perfect snap.

One snap later, Peterson ran through a hole, shifted his shoulders to the left – prompting rookie defensive back Darius Slay to do a face plant into the turf – juked to the right and outraced the rest of the defense on the fourth-longest run of his career.

After choosing to kick on a fourth-and-1, Schwartz went for it with the same down and distance early in the second quarter only to have Bell’s fourth-down run negated by Brandon Pettigrew’s holding penalty, forcing him to settle for a second field goal to make it 7-6.

The Lions looked as if they were going to take their first lead two snaps later when linebacker DeAndre Levy returned an interception for a TD, but Ndamukong Suh was called for an illegal low block against center John Sullivan, who was well behind the play.


Minnesota 7 7 10 0 – 24

Detroit 3 10 14 7 – 34

First Quarter

Min – Peterson 78 run (Walsh kick), 10:39.

Det – FG Akers 33, 4:55.

Second Quarter

Det – FG Akers 42, 14:47.

Min – Peterson 4 run (Walsh kick), 12:17.

Det – Bell 2 run (Akers kick), :10.

Third Quarter

Det – Bell 1 run (Akers kick), 10:19.

Min – FG Walsh 52, 6:42.

Det – Bush 77 pass from Stafford (Akers kick), 5:45.

Min – Peterson 4 pass from Ponder (Walsh kick), 1:37.

Fourth Quarter

Det – Fauria 1 pass from Stafford (Akers kick), 6:47.

A – 62,461.

Min Det

First downs 16 28

Total Net Yards 330 469

Rushes-yards 22-105 33-117

Passing 225 352

Punt Returns 1-6 5-37

Kickoff Returns 2-54 0-0

Interceptions Ret. 1-10 3-24

Comp-Att-Int 18-28-3 28-43-1

Sacked-Yards Lost 3-11 1-5

Punts 5-42.2 4-38.0

Fumbles-Lost 1-1 3-1

Penalties-Yards 5-52 11-88

Time of Possession 23:41 36:19

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Minnesota, Peterson 18-93, Ponder 4-12. Detroit, Bush 21-90, Bell 6-25, Stafford 5-2, Martin 1-0.

PASSING: Minnesota, Ponder 18-28-3-236. Detroit, Stafford 28-43-1-357.

RECEIVING: Minnesota, Simpson 7-140, Peterson 4-18, Jennings 3-33, Rudolph 2-27, Patterson 1-10, Line 1-8. Detroit, Burleson 6-78, Bell 5-67, Bush 4-101, Johnson 4-37, Edwards 3-30, Fauria 3-27, Pettigrew 2-6, Durham 1-11.

MISSED FIELD GOALS: None.