The Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions finish their 2015 series on the early side this year as the Vikings visit Ford Field today following week two’s meeting in Minneapolis. After losing five straight to start the year, can the Lions put together back to back wins against division rivals?
Here is what the Detroit Jock City staff see for the Detroit Lions this week.
Braden Shackelford (1-5) – The Detroit Lions finally have a win! Football season is miserable after losses, so this was much needed. Now, can the Lions do it two weeks in a row? I think they can, but only if the offense line gives Matthew Stafford enough time to push the ball downfield. Obviously containing Adrian Peterson is huge, but the game will come down to the protection up front offensively. I like the Lions in this one, 27-21.
Nate VanNorwick (5-1) – Even with an outstanding game from Matthew Stafford last week, the Lions still needed overtime to beat the (also?) lowly Bears. Minnesota is coming in with a 3-2 record and has already beaten the Lions once this year, in the game where Matthew Stafford was their leading rusher! I don’t see the Lions run game turning it around this weekend and don’t think Stafford can play as well as last week. Vikings 27, Lions 17.
Erik Schlitt (3-3) – I said it in week 2 and I’ll say it again, the Lions will win if they stop Adrian Peterson. They didn’t five weeks ago, allowing him to accumulate 192 all-purpose yards, and no surprise, they lost. The Lions were strong against the run last week and they’ll have to keep it going this week against the best RB in the game. With Joe Lombardi now calling plays from the booth, things are finally starting to open up on offense. They took some deep shots last week, 3 plays going over 40 yards. With Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson both making comments about Xavier Rhodes illegally using his hands down field, I see them taking more deep shots, expecting big plays or pass interference calls. Last week, guards Larry Warford and Laken Tomlinson both graded out in the top 10 per PFF scoring. If they can keep Stafford’s jersey clean, expect the Lions to win their 2nd game this season. Lions 24, Vikings 20.
Mike Rizzo (3-3) – The Lions offense finally seemed to click last Sunday against the Bears. With Joe Lombardi back up in the box I think the offense once again shows up. I’m very nervous to do this but I think the Lions win this game. I don’t have much faith in Teddy Bridgewater and I think the Lions defense handles Adrian Peterson. Lions 34, Vikings 13
Aaron Huizenga (5-1) – The Lions finally put one in the win column last Sunday with an overtime victory over the Chicago Bears. They will face a much tougher test this weekend as the Minnesota Vikings come to town. The Vikings defense has been coming on strong and will make things much tougher for Matthew Stafford and company. I think Adrian Peterson will run wild in this one and put the Vikings on his back in a 24-17 victory.
Zac Snyder (4-2) – Signs of life from the Lions offense were a welcomed sight last week but for all the talk about changes the Lions made, like Joe Lombardi moving from the sideline to the box, one big point hasn’t been discussed: the Lions were finally playing a bad defense. The Lions will need to put up some more impressive performances, including against defensive units far more competent than the Chicago Bears, to inspire confidence. They get a chance this week against the Vikings who battered Matthew Stafford in sending the Lions to 0-2 earlier in the season. Unfortunately, I think more things have stayed the same than changed. Vikings 20, Lions 17
Matt Snyder (4-2) – The playoff run starts now. Lions 24, Vikings 14.