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The Second Half of the Year Starts Today!



Date: 15 November 2009
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 12:00 P.M. CST Stadium: Hubert H. Humphrey
DirecTV Ch. 710
Know Thy Enemy: Pride of Detroit
Gonzo's Prediction: Vikings 34, Lions 10
Final Score: Vikings 27, Lions 10

Well, after the excruciating hell that is the bye week, the 2009 NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings will kick off the second half of their season against a familiar foe, the Detroit Lions. Although the Vikings have won 14 of the last 15 meetings against Detroit, they've been the source of some consternation for the Beloved Purple over the past few years, playing the Vikings much closer than many folks might have thought them capable of. Since defeating the Washington Redskins back in Week 3, the Lions haven't notched another victory, while the Vikings have been on a sizable roll over the first half of the 2009 season.

So, what do the Vikings need to do in order to continue their domination of the Lions?

1) Don't get cocky - Yes, the Vikings are a much better football team than the Lions, and the NFC North division race has pretty much been decided. But as we saw in both Vikings/Lions games last season, this team can't be taking anybody lightly. Minnesota has a three game homestand coming out of the bye, and they can establish some pretty good momentum to carry themselves through the next two games with a solid performance against a team that, on paper, they should blow out.

2) Get after Matthew Stafford - The rookie out of Georgia got his first career touchdown pass in the first meeting this year between these two teams. Unfortunately for him, he also threw two interceptions (both to LB Chad Greenway) and, to be honest, didn't look terribly impressive. For the year, Stafford has five touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and is coming off of a five interception meltdown against a Seattle defense that. . .well, let's say they're not quite as good as Minnesota's. The Vikings got pretty good pressure on Stafford in the last meeting, and if they can continue that trend this afternoon, it could be a long day for young Matthew.

3) Remain balanced - For the most part, the Vikings have done a pretty good job of keeping the offense balanced. The one game where the playcalling was too heavily one-sided was the game against Pittsburgh. . .and, not coincidentally, that's the only game Minnesota has lost to this point. If the Vikings can keep a 50/50 run/pass ratio like they should in this one, it would be quite beneficial. (Or, you know, if they could finish the game with their second stringers on the field like they did in the last meeting against the Lions, that would be even better.)

We're about an hour and a half away from kickoff, ladies and gentlemen. Hopefully you'll join us all here for the best game-time discussion of Vikings' football on the internet!