By Ian S. Palmer
The Minnesota Vikings head east this weekend as they battle it out with the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday, October 25 in a crucial NFC North clash. It’s also their second meeting in the past five weeks with the Vikings taking the first encounter. The Lions finally won their first game of the year last week with a 37-34 home win over the Chicago Bears in overtime after dropping their first five contests. They’re still in the basement of the division though at 1-5. Meanwhile, the Vikings are in second place at 3-2 after beating the Kansas City Chiefs 16-10 at home last weekend.
- Bovada currently lists the Vikings at -3 at -105 with the Lions +3 at -115 with the over/under at 44.5 points with both at -110
Adrian Peterson ran roughshod over Detroit’s defense the first time these teams met in week two action and will be hoping to do the same this Sunday. Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went 17 for 31 last weekend with a pair of touchdowns, two interceptions and 249 yards in the air. Peterson chipped in with 60 yards on the ground on 26 carries. However, the defense did their job and Minnesota came out with the win. They were missing Everson Griffen for the game due to illness and the pass rush wasn’t at its best. Still, they shut down Kansas in the first three quarters.
Griffen should be back this weekend and that will give the defensive line a boost, especially against Detroit’s offensive line which hasn’t done a good job of protecting quarterback Matt Stafford so far this campaign. Minnesota clamped down on Detroit’s rushing game in their first outing as the Lions backs racked up a grand total of 18 yards. They also put good pressure on Stafford. Peterson is hoping to bounce back after last week’s mediocre performance and ran for a season-best 134 yards against Detroit a few weeks ago and added another 58 yards in the air. Minnesota is a poor 3-16-1 straight up in their past 20 road trips and but are 11-9 against the spread. In addition, they’re 6-2 against the spread in their past 10 meetings with the Lions.
Detroit was the last club to earn a win this NFL season, but it didn’t come easy. They blew an eight-point lead against the bears in the fourth quarter and eventually won the game on an overtime field goal. The offense played better than usual as Stafford threw four touchdown passes and gained 405 yards in the air. He was also picked off once. Calvin Johnson added a touchdown and 166 yards on half a dozen receptions. Also, the rushing game produced a season-best 155 yards. It came against a poor defensive side in Chicago though, but a win’s a win.
Detroit’s defense still had its problems and have conceded 79 points in their past two contests. Minnesota’s offense isn’t the greatest though and this will give the Lions a decent chance at winning their second game of the season. Detroit has gone 4-1 against Minnesota in their past five home encounters, but are 2-3 against the spread in those games.