Two winless teams face each other in Minneapolis as Minnesota Vikings host the Detroit Lions. The Vikings are the surprise team with 0-2 record losing to the Miami Dolphins at home on Sunday. This is not what Brett Favre was expecting when he came out of retirement for the umpteenth time this past summer.
Favre is missing his primary target – Pro Bowler Sidney Rice who is out with a hip injury. He has admitted that him and his receivers are not on the same page especially during the Miami game where he threw three interceptions. Favre’s QB rating in the first two games is a paltry 56.1 making him the 29th best passer after two games.
As for the Lions, they are without some key personnel on offense. QB Matthew Stafford will miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury and WR Nate Burleson will also be out versus his old team with an ankle injury. Former Viking QB Shaun Hill will start for the Lions who had mixed results against the Eagles last week. The Lions did find a possible playmaker in RB Jahvid Best who scored 3 TDs. Best was drafted by the Lions last spring after they moved up into the first round via trade with Minnesota – which has become a somewhat storyline this week in Minnesota.
Minnesota might be struggling on offense, but their defense is solid once again. The Lions on the other hand may have improved their defense line, but the linebacker corps and secondary are still giving up big plays. They do get back MLB DeAndre Levy who should help stop Minnesota’ run game.
In order for the Lions to win, the Lions must have a big day from Hill and other receivers not name Calvin Johnson. With Burleson out, the Vikings will most likely double team Calvin Johnson. This gives an opportunity for WR Bryant Johnson and TE Brandon Pettigrew to have a big game as the Vikings will be concentrating on Best and Calvin Johnson.
The Lions cannot let Vikings’ RB Adrian Peterson run wild on Sunday as he usually does against the Lions. They need to have Brett Favre beat them since their passing game is struggling. WR Percy Harvin is expected to play so the Lions will have their hands full stopping him and Peterson. Favre does have a career 90.8 QB rating against the Lions and has never lost to them while playing on his home field (o-17). Most likely, that record will stay intact after Sunday not because of Favre, but because Minnesota’s defense is just too good.
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Written by Bob Ballard