The Vikings didn't exist the last time the Detroit Lions were scoring points like this.
It was 1952-53 and Detroit was winning back-to-back NFL championships over the Cleveland Browns. Yeah, it's really been that long.
The Lions finished the 1952 regular season by scoring 48, 45 and 41 points. They started 1953 with 38 points.
Another streak of scoring at least 35 points didn't reach three games in Detroit until the Lions closed last season with 37 and opened this season with 35 and 36 to take a 1-1 record into Sunday's game against a reeling Vikings defense at U.S. Bank Stadium.
"It's a pretty balanced offense," said Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, whose side of the ball was entirely off-balance while giving up 347 yards, 18 first downs and 24 points in the first half of the Monday night loss at Philadelphia.
If the Lions notch at least 35 points and 375 yards of offense Sunday, they will join the 2000 Rams, 2007 Patriots, 2013 Broncos and the 2020 Seahawks as the only teams to do so in each of their first three games since 2000. All four teams mentioned reached the playoffs.
The Lions, of course, have a run of postseason futility that reaches well into the last millennium. Their last playoff victory was 38-6 over the Cowboys on Jan. 5, 1992. Since then, they are 0-9 in playoff games with only 11 postseason appearances in 30 seasons.
Today, however, the Lions are 1-1. Just like every other team in the NFC North. So no 0-10-1 start this season.
They're aggressive, defensively. They're gritty, like their old-school coach, Dan Campbell. And No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson looks legit after a three-sack first half in last week's victory over Washington.
But Detroit's playoff hopes likely depend on winning a number of shootouts. The offense is second in scoring (35.5), fourth in yards (405.5), third in rushing yards (186.0), first in yards per carry (7.15), and also sports an extremely un-Lions-like commitment to running the ball under first-year offensive coordinator Ben Johnson.
"They have a really good offensive line, and they like to impose their will and be physical with you," Donatell said. "If you don't do anything about it, you're going to be out there a while."
Quarterback Jared Goff has limitations as an immobile quarterback who also can be a touch slow in his progressions. But he can make any throw, and he's got a favorite receiver who is quickly turning heads around the NFL.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, the second-year player who caught the game-winning walkoff touchdown as the winless Lions beat the Vikings in Detroit last year, is grabbing his small piece of NFL history.
With eight or more catches Sunday, St. Brown would become the first NFL player with at least eight catches in nine consecutive games. He is currently tied with Antonio Brown (2014) and Michael Thomas (2019).
"I think [St. Brown] is a very, very tough, gritty guy that loves the game and plays with a ton of passion," Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson said. "He takes on that dirty laundry for that team as far as on run blocks. … He's a guy who kind of does it all for them, kind of makes that offense go."
Peterson missed the loss at Detroit last year. But the Lions still have his attention.
"They're playing with a different edge to them," Peterson said. "This is a very, very dangerous football team that we or anybody will play."