Nobody was out of breath yet. They’d barely gotten their legs stretched to be honest.

But there he went: Adrian Peterson was off and running. And here we go again right?

That’s what the bulk of the crowd of 62461 at Ford Field had to be thinking Sunday breaking into a collective cold sweat as the Lions’ retooled defense looked like they’d fooled everyone again the head coach included.

“We were working all offseason on stopping Adrian Peterson” Jim Schwartz sarcastically noted after a helter-skelter season-opening win “and the first play he goes 80.”

Actually it was only 78 yards for Peterson the NFL’s reigning MVP on the Vikings’ first play from scrimmage. And it wasn’t just one play: The Lions already had bumbled their way into some opening-day boos with a red-zone flameout and a botched field-goal attempt on their first drive.

Still this was about as deflating as it gets. One handoff a couple of blown gaps one rookie whiff and man it smelled like 2012 all over again didn’t it?

It sure did but give the Lions credit: They don’t stink anymore. The talent’s there and Sunday’s 34-24 victory showed something else might be too from a defense that managed to shake off that awful start and put the clamps on Peterson and the rest of the Vikings offense as redundant as that might sound.

Detroit’s defense allowed just one third-down conversion in the first 57½ minutes and two for the game. The Lions finished with three sacks six quarterback hits and seven tackles for loss. And after that first burst Peterson the Vikings’ All-Pro who rushed for more than 2000 yards last season managed just 15 yards on 17 carries the rest of the afternoon — pedestrian numbers for any back let alone a guy who occasionally answers to Purple Jesus.