Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions: Week Two Preview
Some of you might remember that the Lions went 0-16 last season and are on an 0-18 streak dating back to 2007.
I will say this, the Lions shouldn't have been 0-16 last season. They should have beaten the Vikings the second-time around had it not been for a fluke pass-interference call in the final seconds of play that set up a game winning field goal by Ryan Longwell.
On to this week's matchup.
On top of that, the Lions allowed 157 yards rushing, most of which came via Mike Bell. If you've never heard of Bell, you're not the only one.
Rookie Matthew Stafford will be making his second career NFL start. His first regular season game was less than spectacular. He went 16-for-37 with 205 yards passing and no touchdowns to three interceptions.
Stafford was only sacked once, but was pressured all day long. You can expect the Vikings' defensive line to work the Lions' offensive line to the ground and get to Stafford a couple times.
Second-year running back Kevin Smith had an up and down day against the Saints totaling 20 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown, but catching 7 balls for 52 yards.
Look for him to do a lot more in the receiving game again against the stout rush defense of the Minnesota Vikings.
Calvin Johnson is the best player on the team, hands-down. In my opinion, he's the best receiver in the league. He has freakish speed, a legendary vertical, and hands that could catch a bullet out of mid-air.
Though Johnson will be going up one of the most physical cornerback duo's in the game, Johnson's overall ability is just too much for the Vikings to handle. I expect Johnson to have a solid day.
On defense, the Lions boast a very strong and very fast linebacking corps that features Ernie Simms and newly acquired linebackers Larry Foote (via free agency) and Julian Peterson (via trade with Seahawks). It'll be interesting to see if they can stop the Minnesota offense.
The Vikings offense comes into Week Two as the number one ranked rushing offense with over 200 yards on the ground, 180 of which came from Adrian Peterson.
Quarterback Brett Favre showed in his Vikings debut that he is more than capable of managing the game and not making stupid turnovers. He proved that all he needs to do is hand the ball off to Peterson and let him run.
With his upcoming NFL start, Favre will move ahead of Vikings' legend Jim Marshall on the all-time consecutive games starting record, 271.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings boast Pro Bowlers all over. While the Browns offense from a week ago isn't much to look at, they did a solid job against Brady Quinn. They did let Jamal Lewis run over them, but the Vikings are just getting warmed up in that aspect.
The only problem with calling this game a definite blowout is the fact that the Lions played their best football against the Vikings last season. The two teams always play a good game, but the Vikings always manage to squeak one by.
Adrian Peterson vs. Detriot Lions defense: Can they really hold Peterson under 100 yards?
Antoine Winfield/Cedric Griffin vs. Calvin Johnson: Johnson is a freak. There's not a cornerback in the league that can contain this guy.
Vikings Offense vs. Detriot Linebackers: Will the linebackers stop Peterson and the dip and dunk passing game?
Prediction: Vikings 27, Lions 14
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