The Call: Vikings vs. Detroit

  • Updated: November 10, 2012 - 4:08 PM

One man's prediction: It's a shame Christian Ponder and the defense squandered Adrian Peterson's masterful performance last week in Seattle. With Percy Harvin's left ankle likely keeping him sidelined today, Peterson will need to deliver even more. Fortunately, the All-Pro running back seems up to the challenge. Vikings 24, Lions 23

In sync

The efficiency and balance of Detroit's offense has spiked over the past month. In their current two-game winning streak, the Lions have scored touchdowns on eight consecutive trips into the red zone and have converted 20 of 28 third downs. In back-to-back wins over Seattle and Jacksonville, quarterback Matthew Stafford has gone 23-for-27 for 270 yards and two TDs on third downs. Eighteen of those completions have moved the chains. Stafford, once again, seems to be finding his groove.

 

Clearing out

In Week 4, the Vikings limited Detroit to a season-low 55 rushing yards, with Mikel Leshoure gaining just 26 yards on 13 carries. Last week? The Lions piled up a season-high 149 rushing yards, with Leshoure (70 yards, three TDs) and Joique Bell (71 yards, one TD) running with authority. The Lions have energized their ground game by finding a unique use for first-round pick Riley Reiff. The rookie from Iowa has played 42 snaps the past two games, most of them as a sixth lineman, serving essentially as a blocking tight end.

 

Stepping up

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder needs to deliver in the passing game to keep what promises to be an irritable home crowd from coming unglued early. To help that cause, the Vikings coaching staff took an in-depth look at many of the plays and schemes this week and insist they made tweaks to restore the offense's rhythm. "We're hoping for immediate results," coordinator Bill Musgrave said. Peterson remains the workhorse. But with Harvin likely to sit, tight end Kyle Rudolph and receiver Jerome Simpson will be needed more than ever.

186 Return yards for the Vikings in their 20-13 win in Detroit. The Vikings almost had as many return yards as they had total offense (227).

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings: With only two catches for 17 yards the past three games, Rudolph's disappearing act can't continue. Coach Leslie Frazier has vowed this week to provide the big tight end greater involvement. They'll need it with Percy Harvin ailing.

MANO-A-MANO

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Lions receiver Calvin Johnson vs. Vikings cornerback A.J. Jefferson

 

About Johnson

Tied for the NFL lead with four 100-yard games. Has 48 catches, 767 yards and one TD.

 

About Jefferson (left)

Made first Vikings start in Seattle. Recorded three tackles but was beaten for a 6-yard Golden Tate TD catch.

 

Advantage

Johnson. Jefferson will need plenty of safety help when he's one-on-one with Johnson. He also won't be the only DB to cover the Lions star. The Vikings' Week 4 game plan held Johnson to five catches for 54 yards. But Johnson also drew 71 penalty yards.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 12:05 PM
Miami
Philadelphia 12:05 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 12:05 PM
Detroit
Baltimore 12:05 PM
NY Yankees
Boston 12:05 PM
Tampa Bay
Toronto 12:05 PM
Pittsburgh
Atlanta 12:07 PM
Toronto
Washington 12:10 PM
NY Mets
Chicago Cubs 3:05 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 3:05 PM
Texas
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Seattle
Colorado 3:05 PM
Chicago Cubs
Cleveland 3:05 PM
Milwaukee
Oakland 3:05 PM
Chicago WSox
Los Angeles 3:10 PM
LA Angels
Kansas City 3:10 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 6:00 PM
Charlotte
New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
Golden State 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Utah
Denver 9:00 PM
Portland
Nashville 11:30 AM
Washington
Arizona 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
San Jose 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Anaheim 12:00 PM
NY Islanders
NY Rangers 12:00 PM
Boston
Tampa Bay 1:00 PM
Detroit
New Jersey 6:00 PM
Carolina
Florida 6:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Toronto
Los Angeles 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Columbus 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 8:00 PM
Colorado
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 5:09 PM
Wisconsin
Canisius 6:30 PM
NJIT
Notre Dame 7:49 PM
Kentucky
San Jose 2:00 PM
New England
Orlando City 3:00 PM
Montreal
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
D.C.
Sporting Kansas City 6:00 PM
New York City
Red Bull New York 6:30 PM
Columbus
Portland 7:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Colorado 7:30 PM
Houston
Seattle 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Texas 12 1st Half 11:23
(1) Connecticut 21
Dayton 1:30 PM
(8) Louisville
(16) Duke 3:30 PM
(4) Maryland
Gonzaga 6:00 PM
(6) Tennessee
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 NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What should the Vikings do with Adrian Peterson?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close