Vikings-Detroit game preview

  • Updated: September 24, 2011 - 9:38 PM

The Lions dramatically upgraded their linebackers with talent and speed. That, coupled with an outstanding front four, will help them control Adrian Peterson.

One man's prediction: The Lions dramatically upgraded their linebackers with talent and speed. That, coupled with an outstanding front four, will help them control Adrian Peterson and keep feeding the ball back to QB Matthew Stafford and a passing attack that could overwhelm the Vikings secondary. Stafford (seven TD passes in two games) isn't afraid to attack safeties deep. Lions 24, Vikings 21

Matching up down the field

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said one of the reasons the Vikings drafted a 6-2 cornerback (Chris Cook) in the second round last year was to help defend Lions 6-5 receiver Calvin Johnson twice a year. Cook appears to be back from his groin injury and will team with corners Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin in the nickel. Keep an eye on former Vikings wide receiver Nate Burleson. The Detroit wideout creates a lot of missed tackles and yards after the catch. He forced three missed tackles and gained 35 yards after the catch on his five receptions a week ago.

StarCaps case is finally over

Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams is back from his two-game suspension at a time when the Vikings need more consistency stopping the run and an inside push against the pass. The Lions don't run the ball well (3.3 yards per carry), but they haven't had to because Matthew Stafford has been efficient (112.0 passer rating), accurate (65.3 percent) and well-protected (no sacks). Williams pushing the pocket will help defensive ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison put more pressure on Stafford. The Metrodome crowd noise should help, too.

The first good second half?

Many issues contributed to the Vikings becoming the first team in NFL history to lose their first two games after leading by double digits in the first half of both games. The team has been outscored 41-3, so the defense is not innocent. But the brunt of the blame rests with a ball-control offense that has been anything but in the second half. The Vikings have converted only one of nine third-down situations in the second half. They've misfired on their past eight. Donovan McNabb is 0-for-5 passing with two sacks on third downs in the second half.

MANO-A-MANO: A MATCHUP TO WATCH

Today: Vikings running back Adrian Peterson vs. Lions linebacker Justin Durant

About Peterson

Has 157 yards and two TDs on 24 first-half carries (6.5) but 61 yards and no TDs on 17 second-half carries (3.6).

About Durant

The former Jaguar was signed as part of the Lions' overhaul at linebacker. He had 11 tackles in last week's victory over the Chiefs.

 

Who has the edge?

Peterson has the edge in one-on-one situations, so it will be up to the Lions' entire defense, the front seven in particular, to stop him and force the Vikings to try to win with the pass.

Advantage:

Peterson

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2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
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