Friday, July 31, 2015

Detroit Lions

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Arif: Minnesota Vikings
Themselves.

Adam: Minnesota Vikings
Themselves. Looking at this roster pre-Draft, I see a team that has every bit as much talent and upside as anybody in the NFC North, including the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, that has been the case in the past and it was the Vikings beating themselves that ultimately did them in. Finding ways to avoid the police blotter, the injury report, the weekly “C’mon Man!” segment, and the pages of TMZ will be paramount to their success in 2015. If they can play disciplined football, refrain from making stupid penalties and committing gaffs in the clock management area, then I think this Vikings team has no limits. Unfortunately, the organization’s history has me in a constant state of fear as to just how everything will unravel this time.

The Lions have won their last two opening games by scoring 27 points each against the Rams and Buccaneers over the past two seasons. I don’t think the Vikings offense is ready for a shoot-out in the Motor City, so let’s hope the defense and special teams can keep us in the game.

 The Lions lost their final eight games of the season last year to end a disappointing 4-12 campaign after making the playoffs in 2011. You can bet Jim Schwartz will have his team fired up and ready for a fresh start on Sunday.

 Detroit has averaged 26 points in 4 preseason games and could be on the brink to a fast start in 2013. Detroit has scored 11 touchdowns and converted 72 first downs compared to 8 touchdowns and 65 first downs for the Vikings over the last 4 weeks.

 The good news for the Vikings is Mathew Stafford only connected on 49% of his passes in preseason. So, if the Vikings’ defense can set the tone early and disrupt the connection between Stafford and Calvin Johnson, they might have a chance to grind out a win.

 In week four last year at Detroit, the Vikings sacked Stafford 5 times and the special teams returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns to steal a 20-13 victory. Can the Vikings dial up a similar game plan again this week?

The Lions added another weapon this off-season in RB Reggie Bush. Stafford might look to dump the ball off to Bush a lot to help relieve some of the pressure from our front four. It is no secret the Vikings’ corners will need to do a great job covering Calvin Johnson, but I think the linebackers and safeties will also need to do a good job containing Bush and TE Brandon Pettigrew if the Vikings want to leave Detroit with a win.

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