Percy Harvin and Marcus Sherels took advantage of a terrible Detroit Lions special teams unit, returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown and starting the second half with a punt return touchdown on the Lions' first series.
With the win, the Vikings move the 3-1 on the season, matching last season's win total. The Vikings will head into Week 5 with at least a share of first place in the NFC north, pending the outcome of Monday Night's Chicago Bears game.
"It's not something we want to run away from or hide from," Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said. "We want to embrace it. It was one of our goals when the season began, to win the NFC North."
Percy Harvin's opening kickoff touchdown burned the Detroit coverage for 105 yards, and Marcus Sherels ran his punt return back 77 yards. Those were the only touchdowns for the Vikings.
"It was a team win," quarterback Christian Ponder said. "Defense and special teams stepped up."
When Sherels scored, the Detroit Lions became the first NFL team since at least 1940 to allow a kickoff and a punt return for touchdowns in consecutive games, according to STATS LLC. The Lions allowed the Tennessee Titans to score on a kickoff and trick play punt return a Week 3 loss.
Sunday's win ended an 11-game losing streak to division opponents for the Vikings.