5 Things To Know After Vikings Top Lions In Finale
JON KRAWCZYNSKI, AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Adrian Peterson watched the final game of Minnesota’s disappointing season from the sideline, with a groin injury keeping him out.
Afterward, he pledged to go directly to ownership to lobby for coach Leslie Frazier to keep his job.
Frazier likely needs all the help he can get — as does his counterpart in Detroit, Jim Schwartz.
Cordarrelle Patterson scored two touchdowns, including the go-ahead catch in the fourth quarter, and the Vikings beat the Lions 14-13 on Sunday in the final game at the Metrodome after 32 seasons.
As both teams left the Dome, thoughts were quickly turning to the two embattled coaches.
Frazier is 21-33-1 in three-plus seasons. But the Vikings (5-10-1) have missed the playoffs in two of his three full seasons on the job.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf declined to comment Sunday, and a decision is expected to be announced as soon as Monday, when Peterson planned to meet with brothers Zygi and Mark Wilf.
“They’re going to do what’s best for the organization,” Peterson said. “The only thing I can do is tell them how I feel.”
Schwartz is 29-52 over five full years, with just one playoff appearance. The Lions (7-9) lost four games in a row, and six of their last seven, to miss the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 years.
“We can’t worry about decisions that we don’t make,” Schwartz said. “We have to try our very best week in and week out and if we do, then we can accept any decision that’s made. I’d certainly like to be back. I think we have unfinished business here.”
Schwartz said he expected to meet with the Ford family early this week to discuss the situation.
As for Frazier, he planned to meet with his players on Monday morning.
“I hope they’ll give this staff the chance to finish what we’ve gotten started,” Frazier said. “We’re only a season removed from the playoffs. I think our guys are still playing hard and we’re under contract. We’ll see.”
Here are five things to know about the Vikings’ victory over the Lions.
QUARTERBACK QUANDARY: The Vikings’ QB situation was a mess this season, with Christian Ponder, Josh Freeman and Matt Cassel all starting. The normally diplomatic Frazier was unusually forthcoming in his postgame remarks, intimating that management’s failure to deliver a stable quarterback hindered his ability to have success. “It’s a quarterback-driven league and if you don’t have that position functioning the way you need to, I don’t care what you need to do in the other areas of your team, you’re going to be fighting uphill,” Frazier said.
MEGATRON’S KNEE: The Lions played without star receiver Calvin Johnson, who sat out with a knee injury. A pregame report said Johnson could need arthroscopic surgery in the offseason and Schwartz confirmed that after the game. But Johnson wasn’t so sure. “I do not know where those reports come from,” he said.
DOME’S FAREWELL: The Vikings will play the next two seasons at the University of Minnesota before moving into a new stadium. Fans stuck around for a postgame ceremony and turned up the volume one last time to help their team to a victory. “I love the stadium. But when you see the pictures of the new one, you’re anxious and excited to get into the new one,” Peterson said.
PATTERSON’S STATEMENT: It took some time for the speedy rookie to find his way, but he spent the second half of the season doing a deadpan impression of Percy Harvin, the dynamic player he’s charged to replace. Patterson scored on a 50-yard run and an 8-yard pass to give him six TDs in his last five games. “I just like to get the ball in my hands,” Patterson said. “I just like to do special things when I get the ball in my hands. I just feel like Flash, so I call myself Flash.”
NEW LOW: Veteran Lions center Dominic Raiola has seen plenty of struggles in his time in Detroit. But he said this year’s failure topped even the 0-16 season in 2008. “This feels worse because we had a chance to have a home playoff game and we didn’t take advantage of that,” Raiola said. “It feels like everything that needed to happen or could’ve gone our way went our way. We did not take advantage of our opportunities.”
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