5 things to know after Vikings top Lions in finale
Adrian Peterson watched the final game of Minnesota’s
disappointing season from the sideline, with a groin injury keeping
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
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
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
”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
”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
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.”
AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org