The Vikings have been nothing but unpredictable during the first part of this season. When it looks like they are about to lose, they win. Then it appears that they are about to win and a rookie QB takes them down in the final seconds. And of course last week, Minnesota hosted San Francisco in a game nobody gave them a real chance, so they came out and beat up the mighty 49er’s. This week the Vikings are headed to Detroit to take on the Lions. This will be the first divisional game for both teams and could potentially mark a very important point in Minnesota’s season. Last season the Vikes went 0-6 in the NFC North and you can’t expect to be a playoff team if you can’t beat teams in your own division.
If Minnesota wants to win on Sunday, they have to keep the Lions offense under control. While Detroit might be 1-2 this year, they have the #1 rated passing offense in the NFL with 334YPG. The Vikings have to find a way to keep Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson from making too many big plays. The easiest way to do that is to keep pressure on the Lions’ QB. He is nursing a hip injury and has been prone to make mistakes this season with four interceptions in the first three games. Look for Jared Allen to have his first big game of 2012.
On offense, expect Minny to try to maintain what they did against SF, which is good balance and mistake-free football. Adrian Peterson said this week that he now feels like 100%. That’s always good news for the Vikings. Even better has been the play of Christian Ponder so far this season. The QB has been a model of efficiency, completing over 70% of his passes with 4TD’s and no INT’s. His QB rating this season is 104.9, which is among the top 5 in the league. Kyle Rudolph and Percy Harvin have been Ponder’s favorite targets so far, and he gets an additional receiver this week, as Jerome Simpson(an offseason free agent signing) will be coming off his 3-game league suspension. It will be Simpson’s first regular season action in a Viking uniform. While I don’t expect huge things from him in this game, it will great for Percy Harvin to have some of the defensive attention deflected away from #12.
This is an important game for the Vikings. They will be looking for their first road win of the season and their first division win in two years. But Detroit needs this game very badly, so Minnesota better come focused if they want to walk out with a win. If Ponder and the Vikings D play well, I expect a win, but a very tight one.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).