Perfect Start Lions Overcome Lackluster First Half and Defeat Vikings Behind Stafford's Perfect Passer Rating, 24-17 The first season of the Rookie Symposium saw the Lions over-achieve but fall short in the NFC championship by getting bullied by their division rival Bears, who looked miles ahead of where Detroit needed to be to honestly contend. "We just didn't have the horses or depth to get over that hurdle" owner Anthrax commented "When you have top talent at key positions and not much depth, the better teams know how to stop those guys." Anthrax was obviously referring to Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush, who carried much of the Lions offensive weight but no one else really shined that season. Especially Matt Stafford. Stafford put up a whopping 26 int performance and looked beat up and confused in many games. Most teams focused on stopping Bush then waiting for Stafford to make that inevitable bad throw that would bury the Lions. "26 int's is unacceptable in any Madden league I'm in, regardless of talent of personnel." He then added "I was shocked we actually made the playoffs to be honest." Anyway, new season and new start. The Lions opened up to a Viking team that was massively improved over the duration of last season and looking to contend in a loaded NFC North behind Adrian Peterson and a very athletic defense. Raidernation came into the game with his game face on and after a nice mixed opening drive touchdown drive that ended in a TD pass to Johnson, the Vikings answered back with an opening play 40 yard scamper by Peterson and then capped the drive with a touchdown of their own. The Lions quickly responded and Bush ran it in for paydirt and a 14-7 Lions lead. After a nice stop on the defensive side, the Vikings punted the ball away only to have Nate Burleson wave for the fair catch and drop the punt that the Vikings fell on and quickly taking all momentum away from Anthrax's opening possessions. The Vikings didn't disappoint by Freeman hitting Kyle Rudolph for 6 and after a stalled possession by Anthrax, Raidernation capitalized with a field goal and took the lead into the half, 17-14. The second half Anthrax finally caught a break on a third and long pass that was picked in Viking territory by Jonte Green. The Vikings were looking to hold the Lions to three and after a third and forever play that was forced by Brian Robinson's devastating pass rushing (3 sacks), Stafford converted a long pass to rookie TE Joseph Fauria and Anthrax had the lead 21-17. The Lions defense then struck again on a key third and inches play midfield the was stuffed short that ended another key Viking drive. The Lions added a field goal in the third as well and held on in a back and fourth 4th quarter that saw the Vikings drives stall out when Raidernation needed them the most. "Turnovers are absolutely huge in Madden and I really wanted to not force anything that wasn't there." Anthrax said "Raidernation does a great job with working ball control and if you fall behind to him you'll be lucky to win, simple as that."