The Call: VIkings at Detroit

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 30, 2012 - 12:12 AM
hide

Wide receiver Calvin Johnson might be the Lions’ most important advantage in what otherwise looks like an even matchup.

Photo: Jim Prisching, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

One man's prediction: Detroit 27, Vikings 23 Since the start of the 2010 season, the Vikings are 1-11 in division games and 4-15 in games away from the Metrodome. They built confidence with last week's dominance of San Francisco, but the Lions need this game more. Plus, Detroit has the trump card: Calvin Johnson going against a rapidly growing but still vulnerable secondary.

The deep end Through three games, the Vikings have attempted 97 passes but have only two completions of longer than 25 yards. Enter Jerome Simpson, a free-agent acquisition coming off a three-game suspension. Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph still likely will have more prominent roles, but the Vikings want to turn Simpson loose ASAP. Said coordinator Bill Musgrave: "He's got more burst and more top-end speed than any of the receivers we have on the roster right now."

Worth testing Another plus in the Vikings' push for big plays: In last week's loss at Tennessee, Detroit's pass rush struggled and left a mediocre secondary with too much ground to cover. The Lions had no sacks and only one quarterback hit. And they had major breakdowns in allowing Titans TD passes of 65 and 71 yards. Among their cornerbacks, Bill Bentley is promising but still a rookie and Chris Houston isn't exactly "Night Train" Lane. Starting free safety Louis Delmas is still out because of a knee injury.

Defensive Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway has been all over the field in the opening three games and had his best outing last week, recording 13 tackles and two sacks and playing with a contagious ferocity. Said coach Leslie Frazier: "His leadership on the sideline, on the field making the big plays, that's what we need from him." Greenway has 33 tackles this season, third best in the NFL. And he's gotten great help from middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley, who stepped up big last week.

MANO-A-MANO: A MATCHUP TO WATCH

Today: Vikings receiver Percy Harvin vs. Lions receiver Calvin Johnson

About Harvin Leads the NFL in catches (27) and has 319 yards from scrimmage.

About Johnson Leads the NFL in receiving yardage (369); had 96 catches, 1,681 yards and 16 TDs in 2011.

Advantage: Johnson Two big-time receivers, two very different styles. Johnson had a two-season head start but leads Harvin in career 100-yard games (23-7).

THE BIG NUMBER

2,053 Career points for Detroit kicker Jason Hanson, fourth most in NFL history behind Morten Andersen (2,544), Gary Anderson (2,434) and John Carney (2,062). Hanson is in his 21st season and coming off a four-field-goal effort in Tennessee.

BREAKOUT DAY?

Mikel Leshoure, Lions: After missing all of 2011 because of a torn Achilles tendon and being suspended the first two games this season, the powerful tailback had 26 carries, 100 yards and a TD last week in his NFL debut. Detroit hopes his presence lends balance to its pass-heavy attack.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati 0 Delayed
Baltimore 0
Boston 2 Top 2nd Inning
NY Yankees 0
Detroit 1 Top 2nd Inning
Cleveland 2
NY Mets 2 Top 2nd Inning
Miami 0
Philadelphia 0 Top 2nd Inning
Atlanta 0
Toronto 1 Top 2nd Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
LA Angels - C. Wilson 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 7:10 PM
Minnesota - T. Milone
Texas - D. Holland 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Guthrie
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 7:15 PM
St. Louis - A. Wainwright
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
Washington - D. Fister 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
Arizona - W. Miley 9:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
Detroit
San Diego 9/8/14 9:20 PM
Arizona
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(19) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(18) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(23) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(17) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(21) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(8) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Vikings win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close