MIKE O'HARA

O'Hara: Final thoughts on today's game vs. Vikings

Posted Sep 30, 2012

The normally mundane pre-game announcements on inactive players and starters for the Lions was anything but mundane for Sunday’s game with the Vikings.

There were two new starters on defense, and both were surprises. One was defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill, to fill the vacancy created by loss of Corey Williams to knee surgery, and the other was Ricardo Silva at free safety in place of John Wendling.

Hill, a fourth-round draft pick in 2009, was moved ahead of Nick Fairley, a first-round draft pick in 2011 who has done little in his first two seasons.

Silva was on the practice squad for the first three games. He was added to the active roster on Saturday when Jerome Murphy was released.

Silva made was on the practice squad most of last season. He was active for four games and had three tackles on defense.

Safety Amari Spievey, a starter at safety all of 2011, also was inactive. His stock declined this year. He had not started in the first three games and was used only in situational packages.

Stafford file: The Lions’ empire is in good hands.

As he does every week, Matthew Stafford was out long before the pre-game warm-ups to get ready to face the Vikings, and he showed no ill effects from the right hip injury that caused him to sit out Wednesday’s practice.

An hour before the game, Stafford backpedaled and threw under the watchful eye of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Stafford moved smoothly and did not appear to favor his right side.

Stafford practiced Thursday and Friday and was listed as probable on the official injury reported submitted to the NFL office Friday afternoon.

Legal violence: "Violent” is a word used most often to describe Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, and it’s a compliment for the way he attacks defenses.

He has speed, power and relentlessness, and he combines it all with an edge of violence that sets him apart from other backs.

Stopping Peterson – or at least holding him in check – was a priority for Sunday’s game.

Peterson has made an amazing comeback from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that put him out late last season. Peterson returned for opening day, and while he’s not at his best, he still had 230 yards rushing in the first three games.

Safety Erik Coleman braced for a long, tough day of work.

“He makes hard cuts, and he tries to punish you,” Coleman said. “He’s a very violent runner. He runs with his legs. He keeps his legs going. He’s

definitely a back who wants to deliver the blow as opposed to being hit. “He won’t run out of bounds. He runs through arm tackles. He has breakaway speed.

“I would say he’s the best back in football, when healthy. Not many guys have that skill set in this league.”

PH factor: The Vikings list Percy Harvin as a wide receiver, but he does more than catch passes.

Harvin has been called by many the most versatile receiver in the league for how the Vikings use him. He leads them with 27 receptions, but he also lines up in the backfield. Harvin has eight carries for 42 yards.

He has yet to break a big play, though. His longest reception is 24 yards, and his longest run is 20 yards.

They went to Jared: Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is one of the NFL’s elite pass rushers, but he’s off to a slow start this year with one sack in the first three games.

The Lions have seen Allen at his offense-wrecking best. He had three sacks in each of the two games against the Lions last season, but the Lions managed to win both games.

Allen was held in check in 2010. He had no sacks in the first game and was credited with a half sack in the second game.