|MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2-10)||GAME 13||DETROIT LIONS (7-5)|
|Date:||11 December 2011||Location:||Detroit, MI|
|Time:||12:00 PM Central||Stadium:||Ford Field|
DirecTV Ch. 709
|Know Thy Enemy:||Pride of Detroit|
|Chris' Prediction:||Vikings 27, Lions 24|
|Final Score:||Lions 34, Vikings 28|
Too early for a KISS reference? Wrong. . .it is NEVER too early for a KISS reference.
So, what are a few of the keys to the Vikings sneaking out of Detroit with a victory this afternoon?
1) Check yourselves, and let Detroit wreck themselves - As I mentioned in my post earlier this morning, the pressure of being in a playoff race, and the implosion they've been going through since getting off to a 2-5 start, is clearly starting to get to this Lions' team. They've become increasingly undisciplined, and Matthew Stafford seems to be unable to discern which color uniforms his teammates are wearing from the ones the opponent is wearing as of late. If the Vikings can get a stop or two early and get out to a quick lead, it could cause the Lions to press, and that's when bad things tend to happen for them.
2) Shorten the game - Whether it's Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Percy Harvin, or any combination of those guys, the best way to keep Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and company off of the field is to pound the football. The Lions are likely going to be without both their starting defensive tackles today, as Ndamukong Suh is still suspended and Nick Fairley is nursing a foot injury. John Sullivan has really shown some improvement this season, and he needs to team up with Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera or Joe Berger to push the Lions' backup defensive tackles around on the inside and let the Vikings' running game do some damage. Detroit gives up nearly five yards a carry on the ground as it is, and the absence of Suh and Fairley might make that sledding a little bit easier.
3) Put the quarterback in a position to succeed - Whether the Vikings are going with Christian Ponder or Joe Webb behind center this afternoon, the Vikings need to put their quarterback in a position to be successful. More crossing routes for guys like Harvin underneath, to let him use his incredible open field abilities, more screens, and maybe even some more max protection looks. Despite the absences on the defensive line, the Lions can still bring the pressure with guys like Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril, and with Ponder already injured, he's going to need that extra protection. Even if Webb plays, he'll only be getting his third NFL start, but since he brings a different skill set to the table than Ponder does, things will have to be changed slightly for him, too.
Yes, the prediction might be a bit of wishful thinking on my part, but the Vikings have a shot in this one. That and I'm tired of the doom and gloom and the prediction of losses. Draft position is nice and everything, but let's hope for the best in this one. We're an hour and a half from game time, which means the inactive lists should be along any moment now.