It's kind of cute, really. The down-on-their-luck, plucky kids from Detroit are on a roll. Led by Matthew Stafford and a high octane offense and Ndamukong Suh's flashy defensive playmaking, the Lions are 2-0 and everyone's darling.
So much so, in fact, that the Lions are favored to beat the Vikings on Sunday. In Minnesota. Where they haven't won since 1997. Where they've lost by an average score of 25-17 over the last 25 years.
As ESPN's NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert notes, the Vegas line on this game (The Lions are favored by 3.5-4.0 points depending on your source) is essentially unprecedented.
In the aforementioned 25-year span, the Lions have defeated the Vikings in Minnesota only four times. Not since 1991 has the winning margin been greater than four points. In the last 17 games at Mall of America Field, Detroit has scored more than 17 points just twice. They haven't scored more than 10 points in Minnesota since 2006. Heck, they've only beaten the Vikes twice in the last 9 games in Detroit. In other words, no matter where these two teams have played in the last decade, the Vikings have gone 17-3. Only one of those three Lions wins was by more than 3 points.
I get it. The Vikings are reeling. The Lions are riding high. The Vikings offense can't convert a third down and the defense has collapsed in the second half two weeks in a row. The Lions have scored 75 points in two games and haven't given up a sack. Dating back to last December, and including the preseason, they've won each of the last 10 times they've taken the field. The Vikings have won just one of their last six regular season games. Calvin Johnson is made out of titanium and has Red Bull pulsing through his veins. Percy Harvin is one sneeze away from his next migraine. Matthew Stafford is the next Tom Brady. Donovan McNabb is the next Tarvaris Jackson. Jahvid Best is the next Barry Sanders. Suh is the next Kevin Williams. And on and on.
It's all very intriguing. And almost enough to make me believe the downtrodden, underdog Vikings have no chance to pull out a win against the dominating, been-there, done-that, bona fide Super Bowl contender Lions this Sunday.
Christian Peterson is the Operations Manager at LeagueSafe.com and is a contributor to Vikings.com, the 2011 Maple Street Press Vikings Annual, and the Fantasy Football Weekly radio show on Saturday Mornings on KFAN 100.3.
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