Two in One
Yes, Detroit had a 10-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but the Lions are not even close to closing games in the fourth quarter much less equipped to carry a lead to halftime against teams that outclass them at nearly every position except for wherever Calvin Johnson happens to be lined up. Considering that coming into last Sunday Detroit had not won in almost two years, it should not have been a shock that penalties, miscues and nerves would upend their chance at knocking off one of the heavy favorites to take the division, if not the conference this year. Sorry Detroit, the truth is that you guys won't go winless this year, but you won't get one of your three wins against the Vikings.
However it's a different story against a pumped up San Francisco club that is coming into the Metrodome. For the last three years the 49er's have been fielding some decent talent that Mike Nolan pissed away with haphazard game plans and petitions to the league office to wear suits on the sidelines to honor his dad. With Mike Singletary preaching smashmouth football and showing that he is committed to shoving Frank Gore down the opposition's throat, the Vikings will get their first test of the young season.
The Vikings will more than have their hands full and won't need to stack the box with eight guys to stop Adrian Peterson. If Peterson has his way with San Francisco's defense, then someone is taking a dive or he really is the reincarnation of Gayle Sayers. Six weeks ago I would have thought the Vikings would take this in a walk, but after seeing the 49er's defense stop Arizona when it mattered and then pummel on Matt Hasselbeck like a runt on the schoolyard, I have been given pause. The biggest weakness Singletary brings to the table is that you know exactly what he is going to do: Rely on his defense and Frank Gore to be more physical than you and wear you down. The only problem with that formula is that they are walking into the Metrodome for the Vikings home opener. Considering both teams play the same brand of football, the game could come down to the quarterbacks, and if Favre is kept upright, that means the Vikes win a squeaker.
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Written by Sean Neumann