Louis Villaume

Louis Villaume, a lifelong Minnesotan, has been a Vikings fan since the late 1960s. He's also the seventh grade football coach in Rockford and works with the school's varsity team.

Villaume: Vikings have the better of Lions

Posted by: Louis Villaume Updated: September 8, 2013 - 10:20 AM

Week One at the Detroit Lions... 

I remember watching then Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez being taunted in Yankee Stadium, "Who's Your Da-ddy". I appreciated both Pedro's candor and humor when he fed this line to the media. What made it so endearing was that it was true. Martinez was overmatched that year by the eventual World Series Champion..

The Minnesota Vikings have a 68-33-2 edge on Detroit Lions in their entire history. The more than 2:1 edge was improved in last year's sweep. Minnesota owns Detroit.

Add to that fact Minnesota won its' last four games, finished hot at 10-6, and made the playoffs. The Lions, on the other hand, lost their last eight consecutive games, to finish 4-12. After making the playoffs, and sweeping Minnesota in 2011, Detroit returned to the abyss otherwise known as the basement of the NFC North. 

Critics of the Vikes-are-Lions-Daddy theory will point to factors in disagreeing.

Detroit was 2nd in passing last year. Minnesota's pass defense was ranked 31st. In Calvin Johnson, drafted five picks before Adrian Peterson in 2007, the Lions have the top yardage gainer in the NFL at wide receiver. Minnesota's weakness is in pass defense. 

The Lions feel they have improved their run defense, led by Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in the middle. Detroit spent an early pick on DE Ziggy Ansah. He suffered a concussion this preseason, but is expected to play and to be a major contributor throughout the year. Vikings' quarterback Christian Ponder saw pressure greater than most NFL QBs last year. While Minnesota's run blocking is awesome, its' pass blocking is not highly respected.

The addition of Reggie Bush improves both the run and pass game. Bush had 88 receptions in addition to rushing the ball last year for Miami. Bush's athleticism is expected to give Matthew Stafford better looks in opponent's secondary. Bush is considered a serious upgrade from last year's rookie Mikel LeShoure.

Minnesota will play without two key players in this season opener. DT Kevin Williams is listed out as of Friday, a victim of a cheap shot by the 49ers guard Joe Looney.  Williams has a significant knee contusion along with a strain to something called the posterior capsular. Jerome Felton, the star fullback who paved Peterson's path in 2012, is out for the first few games due to a league suspension. That hurts Minnesota's offense more than a little.

And these all may be true.

But there are some red flags to that thought that should be the catalyst for a Minnesota victory.

First, Detroit lost eight straight games last year because Minnesota shredded them in Week Ten. The Lions were coming off a 17 point win over the Jaguars that had followed an win over the Seattle Seahawks. The Lions were 4-4 when they faced Minnesota in the Metrodome with hopes of returning to the playoffs still alive. Peterson ran for 171 yards and Christian Ponder completed 24-32 for 221 yards and two TDs. The Lions would go on to lose a series of close games until they basically quit playing.

This preseason, the Lions 1st string unit scored one time in 17 possessions. Matthew Stafford completed less than 50% of his passes. While Lions faithful insist their team will hold its' home advantage publicly; on their private blogs and discussions, they are really worried.

And they should be. 

The Lions' offensive line is suspect. 2nd year left tackle Riley Reiff starts his new job with trying to block Jared Allen and Everson Griffen. Detroit also has new starters at right guard in rookie Larry Worford and right tackle Jason Fox. While Kevin Williams will be unavailable don't expect much of a let down with a DT rotation that includes rookie Sharrif Floyd, Fred Evans, and Letroy Guion. Stafford will be pressured.

The Lions are the oldest team in the NFL. Some theorize that is due to poor drafting and a need to compensate with free agent spending. That might not be a problem if you were say the New England Patriots and had a Tom Brady that makes everyone look good. But when you are coming off a 4-12 season, and stare up at the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and the Vikings, you have to wonder what the long term plan is.. or if anyone is planning.

The 2013 season will certainly not be decided by this first game. It may be a Calvin Johnson vs. Adrian Peterson type game. Or both teams may spend all their time worried about the stars, and guys like Kyle Rudolph or the Lions' Ryan Broyles make the difference. Neither team should put more on this game than the 1/16 it deserves. But we fans are different. We are looking for immediate answers to our hopes and/or doubts.

We may not know what will become of 2013 after tomorrow, but we might get a good hint...

Skol.

 

 

 

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Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 10 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: M. Gonzalez 2
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 1
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Danks 10 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: N. Karns 5
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: A. Swarzak 2
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 5
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 8
Los Angeles - WP: C. Perez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5
Texas - WP: S. Tolleson 2 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Street 1
Philadelphia 6 Bottom 9th Inning
Oakland 6
San Francisco 2 Top 9th Inning
San Diego 8
Arizona - LP: W. Miley 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: C. Bergman 8
Cincinnati - A. Simon 7:05 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
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Buffalo 0 FINAL
Washington 1
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Edmonton
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Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
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Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
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(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
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Penn State 48
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Washington 45
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(17) LSU 29
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Ohio U 36
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West Virginia 33
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South Alabama 6
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Houston 47
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(21) Nebraska 41
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New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
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Arizona 49
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Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
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Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
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Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
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(21) Nebraska
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(18) USC
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San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Toronto FC 3
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
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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 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

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