Friday, September 14, 2007

Vikings v Lions Kool-Aided Preview (Wk 2)

Has the world gone MADD? Everybody loves the Lions. Through 1 week the Lions have become the trendy pick as the only NFC North team who can give the Bears a run for their money. Take off the Beer Goggle folks (or the Raider Goggles for that matter).

While they may appear sexy with Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson catching passes from the rejuvenated (did I just say that?) Jon Kitna. When you wake up Mon morning this will be your same old Lions team. Look past a few offensive skill position players and this is the same Lions who have lost 10 straight games to the Purple.

Let's take a look at the matchups...

Det OL vs. Min DL - advantage Minnesota (and this isn't very close)

Minnesota should be able to defend the run straight up and on 3rd & longs they'll need to get to Kitna. Stopping the run doesn't concern me at all. If we can get pressure on Kitna this game is over. If he is able to complete a high percentage of short and medium passes, then get time to look deep this could be a different story. My money is on the DL dominating. It was pointed out that the Lions OL "wore down" the Raiders last week. I don't see that being an issue as the Vikings played 8 different guys on the DL including starting the 2nd half with all 4 2nd stringers in there, these guys will remain fresh.

Det RB/TE vs. Min LBs - advantage Minnesota

I expect that Mike Martz will abandon the run early and basically use a short/quick passing game to take it's place. This will inflate the passing yardage but will still result in 3rd and longs for the Lions. That's when the pass rush will take over.

Det QB/WR vs. Min DBs - advantage Detroit (but not by much imo)

I'm not even fully convinced that this is in the Lion's favor and here is why. Our 2006 pass defense was awful! And how did Mr. Kitna do vs. this pass defense last year? 519 yards, 2 TDs and 6 INTs!!#@*! This guy threw 6 interceptions vs. MN last year. If you take away 2 garbage games to end the season last year Kitna finished with 14 TDs and 21 INTs. Those are brutal numbers, but because Roy Williams is really good, Calvin Johnson is very promising and they put up yards on the Raiders all of a sudden the Lions are a sleeper playoff team! SERENITY NOW!!

Det DBs vs. Min QB/WR - advantage Detroit (this is a pillow fight)

Tarvaris and his receiving core does not scare anybody, but this is one of the 3 keys to the game. They need to be just good enough to open up the running game.

Det LBs vs. Min RB/TE - advantage Minnesota (this is where the game will be won)

I'm assuming Chester will be playing so the combo of he and Purple Jesus will need to beat somebody. The Lions will stack the box with 8 or 9 guys. The Vikings will block 7 or8 guys, which means Chester and Purple Jesus have to make 1 guy miss. If they can do this you'll see a couple BIG plays and that will be the difference in the game.

Det DL vs. Min OL - advantage Minnesota

Dominate the line of scrimmage here and this game will not be nearly as close as the score will likely indicate. This really is tied to the LB/RB matchup above. We need to block everybody but they'll stack enough to get a 1 man advantage. The OL needs to make the right calls and block the right guys so we get a 1 on 1 with our RB and their LB/S (or whoever is up to the line). My money is on our OL cause they don't have anybody that scares me.

KEYS to the Game

  1. Get to Kitna - especially on 3rd and long. If we put any pressure on him and knock him around a little bit then our DBs will make some plays. I didn't say the might make some plays or they'll have the opportunity to make the plays but the WILL make the plays.
  2. Passing game has be be just good enough - don't make mistakes is important but I'm more interested in them making just enough big plays to open up the running game a little bit. Last week we had 1 pass greater than 15 yards (excluding the AP TD). Give me just 1 per quarter, that's all I ask.
  3. RBs have to make a guy miss - They'll have holes but they will have to make 1 guy miss. I see a few big runs because AP will make a guy miss and Chester will run through guys to turn 4 yard runs into 6 all day long.
Fearless Predictions...
  • Jackson has 2 TD passes and rushes for another.
  • D Line has 3 sacks
  • Minnesota wins 31-23

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