Vikings cruise past Detroit, 34-13

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — The elements were all there for a Minnesota upset. The Vikings were on the road against a hot rookie quarterback and a pumped-up Detroit team.
But Randall Cunningham wouldn’t let it happen.
Cunningham threw two touchdown passes and the Vikings reeled off 17 consecutive points in the third quarter to remain undefeated with a 34-13 victory over the Lions on Sunday.
“They went up three points at halftime,” Cunningham said. “We never panic when we’re down. We believe we can put points on the board at any time. That’s the type of team we have.”
Robert Smith had 134 yards on 19 carries, including a 57-yard touchdown run to ice it for the Vikings (7-0), who defeated Detroit (2-5) for the second time.
Detroit rookie Charlie Batch, who made his NFL debut at Minnesota in the third game of the season, didn’t play poorly. He was 20-of-37 for 231 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown pass to Johnnie Morton, with one interception. But he couldn’t overcome the Lions’ 14 penalties for 169 yards.
“That cannot happen, and I have the responsibility to not let that happen,” Detroit coach Bobby Ross said. “That is far too much. To me, that is the story to this game.”
Cunningham, Batch’s boyhood hero during his early NFL years with the Philadelphia Eagles, was 17-of-30 for 190 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jake Reed and a 10-yard scoring toss to Cris Carter.
He said coach Dennis Green scolded the team at halftime.
“Denny Green said a few things on his heart to get us fired up,” Cunningham said. “He motivated us. Denny Green is going to be a preacher some day. He’s a great speaker. He’s a motivator.”
Cunningham, starting his fifth game since Brad Johnson went down with a broken leg, finally showed a little vulnerability, however, throwing his first two interceptions.
Still, his interceptions were harmless. Jimmy Hitchcock took Batch’s interception 79 yards for the game’s final score late in the fourth quarter.
Gary Anderson kicked field goals of 35 and 44 yards for the Vikings.