Reggie Bush totaled almost 200 yards in his Detroit debut and Matthew Stafford had two touchdown passes in the second half, as the Lions took a 34-24 victory over the Minnesota Vikings to open the season.
Bush, a free agent signing in the offseason, finished the game with 191 yards of total offense and a touchdown. He had 21 carries for 90 yards, while adding four catches for 101 yards and a score.
Stafford went 28-for-43 for 357 yards and two touchdowns, along with one interception for the Lions (1-0), who lost their final eight games last season to finish the 2012 campaign with a record of 4-12.
"Offense, defense, special teams all had their hands in this victory," said Stafford. "I'm proud of the guys for sticking together because the offense didn't play up to par in the first half."
A year removed from setting the NFL record for receiving yards in a season, Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson had a very pedestrian game, catching just four balls for 37 yards.
Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, last season's MVP, appeared poised for a big day as he took his first handoff 78 yards for a score. However, he was smothered by the Detroit defense the rest of the day, gaining just 15 yards on his next 17 carries. He did, though, have two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown to go with four catches for 18 yards.
Christian Ponder had a tough day behind center as he went 18-for-28 for 236 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions, along with losing a fumble for the Vikings (0-1), who went 10-6 last season and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
"Tough loss for our football team on the road," said Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier. "We didn't do things you have to do on the road to win. The penalties late in the game that kept drives going really hurt. But Detroit deserved to win that game and we're going to watch the tapes and see what we can do to change the things we did wrong."
On its first possession of the second half, Detroit went on top. The first play saw Nate Burleson catch a pass for 21 yards, and Bush followed with a 10- yard run. After a Bush touchdown run of one yard was reversed after it was determined his knee hit the ground before the ball crossed the goal line, Joique Bell followed that with a run around the left end for a 20-14 lead with 10:19 to play in the third.
Minnesota countered on a 52-yard field goal from Blair Walsh to finish off a 7-play, 46-yard drive, but the Lions had a quick answer.
On the third play facing a 3rd-and-7, Stafford dumped off the ball to Bush over the middle, and he took it the distance, racing 77 yards for a score and a 27-17 lead.
"We talked about getting in space and just constantly being in situations where we have mismatches with a linebacker or something," said Bush. "I think we did a good job of that, and we'll see more of that in the future."
Ponder used a rare deep ball to get the Vikings back in the game, as he lofted a bomb down the middle into the hands of Jerome Simpson for a 47-yard catch down to the Detroit 15. Three plays later, he snapped a quick pass to Peterson for a 4-yard score and a 27-24 game.
After a Detroit punt, Ponder fumbled the ball with Nick Fairley recovering at the Minnesota 39. That led to a 1-yard touchdown catch from Joseph Fauria, the first of his career, for a 34-24 lead with 6:47 to play.
Minnesota's two final touches saw a three-and-out, and an interception from Ponder as the Lions held on for the win.