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Do Or Die In Week Three

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Date: 26 September 2010 Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
DirecTV Ch. 711
Know Thy Enemy: Pride of Detroit
Gonzo's Prediction: Vikings 17, Lions 13
Final Score: Vikings 24, Lions 10

I know, it's sort of ridiculous to refer to a Week Three match-up as a "must win," but, really. . .for this team, that's exactly what it is. Making the post-season after starting 0-2 is enough of a long shot. . .making it after starting 0-3 is damn near impossible. So, the Vikings need to get things into gear, starting today, in order for the 2010 NFL season a complete wash-out.

So, what do the Vikings need to do in order to win today?

1) Start getting production from the receiving corps - Somebody needs Visanthe Shiancoe needs to step up and start producing in the passing game for this team, and the Lions present a pretty good opponent to do that against. Their secondary has been atrocious for the first two weeks of the season, and if the Minnesota receivers can't get open against them, they aren't going to get open against anybody all season long. Over the first two weeks, teams have known that Shiancoe is the only person that Brett Favre can rely on in the passing game, and they've started taking him away. Today, guys like Bernard Berrian, Greg Camarillo, and Percy Harvin need to start stepping up, getting open, and catching passes.

2) Keep Favre upright - As bad as the Lions' back seven has been, their front four have been outstanding with the additions of defensive end Kyle VanDen Bosch and rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The Lions have eight sacks, and seven of them have come from the defensive line. The Vikings' offensive line has had their struggles through the first two games, and this game might present their toughest test to date. If the Vikings can give Favre time in the pocket to scan the field, he should be able to find openings in the Lions defense.

3) Keep up the defensive intensity - Given the hand they've been dealt by the offense thus far, the Viking defense has done a pretty outstanding job for the better part of the two games they've played this season, and that needs to continue today. The Lions enter this one with journeyman quarterback Shaun Hill behind center instead of Matthew Stafford, and outside of Calvin Johnson, their receiving corps is pretty non-descript. They also need to keep an eye out for rookie sensation Jahvid Best, not just as a rusher, but as a receiving threat out of the backfield. If they can play to the level that they've displayed in the first two games, the offense shouldn't have to score very many points in order to come out on top today.

This is a huge game, ladies and gentlemen. The Minnesota Vikings absolutely, positively need this game to build some positive momentum going into the bye week and into a brutal October schedule. Let's hope that we can get the results we've been anticipating all season out of this team this afternoon at the Dome.