Minnesota defense steps up

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

DETROIT -- Minnesota’s defense has given the Vikings a big boost here in the third quarter, turning a 10-7 deficit into a 17-10 lead midway through the quarter.

The Vikings sacked Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford on two of the first three plays of the half, forcing a Lions punt. The Vikings converted that possession into a 26-yard field goal from Ryan Longwell.

On the Lions’ fourth play of the ensuing possession, Vikings linebacker Ben Leber tackled Lions tailback Kevin Smith for a three-yard loss. Smith lost a fumble at the end of the play, and Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson ran 27 yards for a touchdown on the next play.

This burst is similar to the one Minnesota effected last week in Cleveland, where it turned a 13-10 halftime deficit into a 34-13 lead. We’ll keep you updated.