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Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings: First Quarter Open Thread

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
DETROIT LIONS (2-1) WK 4 MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2-1)

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Date: 1 October 2017
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: U.S. Bank Stadium
TV: FOX
DirecTV Ch 711
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 81
Sirius Ch 81
TV Announcers: Thom Brennaman
Chris Spielman
Know Thy Foe: Pride of Detroit
Weather: Indoors
Line: Minnesota -2, Over/Under 42.5 (Thanks to the SB Nation odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Vikings 24, Lions 20
Final Score: Lions 14, Vikings 7

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It's the first of six NFC North matchups for the Minnesota Vikings this season, as they will play host to the Detroit Lions this afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The winner of this game will move their record to 3-1 and into a first place tie in the division with the Green Bay Packers. This is the first of three straight NFC North games for the Vikings, and it's important that they get off on the right foot.

So, how can they do that?

1) Get after Matthew Stafford - Many of the victories that the Vikings have had over the Lions in recent years have involved the defense bouncing Stafford around like a pinata. Defensive end Everson Griffen made the uncharacteristic move of calling out Lions' offensive tackle Greg Robinson for being "lazy," and now Griffen has an opportunity to put his money where his mouth is. The Lions do have plenty of weapons that they can utilize, and getting pressure on Stafford is of the utmost importance.

2) Get Dalvin Cook going early - We all know that the Vikings have been airing it out with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, regardless of who they've had behind center. But it's important that they establish the run game early in order to provide some balance. Cook, who entered Week 3 as the NFL's second-leading rusher, has been a welcome complement to the Vikings' passing game, and if the Vikings want to continue their offensive momentum, they're going to have to use him to keep Detroit's defense honest.

3) Continue taking care of the football - Through the first three games of the season, the Vikings have only been credited with one turnover, and that was a fumble by Adam Thielen on the Vikings' final offensive play in Pittsburgh when the game had been decided. In a game like this one, you can't give the other team extra opportunities and short fields, and the Vikings will have to continue taking care of the ball to prevent that from happening.

We're a little less than an hour away from kickoff, ladies and gentlemen. Keep an eye out for the new Open Thread at the start of each quarter so you can keep up with all the action.

SKOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL VIKINGS!!!!