Sunday, September 26, 2010

On Tap: Lions at Vikings

Detroit heads into Minnesota today to play the Vikings at 1 pm. Both teams are 0-2 with both teams losing close games in each of their first two contests.

The Vikings' offense has been slowed by the loss of their top two receivers, Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin. Rice is out indefinitely as a result of a hip injury requiring surgery, and Harvin is questionable due to recurring migraines he has suffered from.

But the real story has been the mediocre play of Brett Favre. Without his best two targets, Favre's performance this year has been underwhelming. It hasn't helped him that his left ankle hasn't fully heeled yet (at least that's what it seems).

On the other side, the Lions are still without Matthew Stafford (shoulder). That leaves it up to Shaun Hill to once again take the reins. Hill will be facing the team that gave him his start in the NFL. Hill did nothing there, and eventually went on to have greater success in San Francisco.

Last week, Hill threw for 335 yards, was 25-for-45 passing, and had three interceptions. Most of his passing yards came late in the 4th quarter with Detroit down by 18.

The key to this game comes down to two things - 1) will Minnesota's D-line (the best in the NFL with Pat Williams, Kevin Williams, and Jared Allen) be able to overwhelm an improved Lions' O-line, 2) will the Lions' pass rush culminate in sacks and hurries for Favre?

If the Lions' front seven can get pressure on an immobile QB, it'll lessen the risk of Favre carving up the Lions' secondary as they have been all year. Minnesota's average receiving corps against Detroit's subpar secondary gives Minnesota a chance to blow this thing wide open.

But I think the Lions match up better than a lot of people give them credit for.

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Aww, hell with it. The 13-game losing skid in Minnesota ends today.

Lions 24
Vikings 21

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