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10-06-2006, 06:33 AM
Vikings: Three keys to defeat Lions (http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/articles/2006/10/vikings-threekeys-lions061006.html)

By Eric Krupka on October 6, 2006 12:27 AM

Domination -noun
1. an act or instance of dominating.
2. rule or sway; control, often arbitrary.

When the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions tangle, domination describes perfectly what the Vikings have done to their counterpart. They have won eight straight games, including 14 of 16 against their divisional foe.

While the win-loss record is staggering, few of the victories have come easy. In fact, the Vikings' average margin of victory in their last eight games against the Lions is just 6.3 points. Still, there is no denying the Vikings have had the Lions number.

In the day and age of the NFL where parity reigns supreme, one would think a streak like this would come to end soon. However, by now you'd think the Lions, who seem to be on the never-ending rebuilding plan, would have shaken the loser label. Or, at the very least, put an end to their fans' misery by firing maligned general manager Matt Millen. Owner William Clay Ford, for reasons unbeknownst to any rational-thinking person, has refused to trash Millen.

Millen may be the Lions' biggest problem, but come Sunday they will have their hands full, as they attempt to claim their first win of the season. With a 0-4 record, it is their longest winless streak to begin a season since the disastrous 0-12 start in the dreadful 2001 season. Add in the fact they haven't won in Minnesota since 1997 and you can see the trouble ahead. To put that in some perspective, Bill Clinton was just beginning his second term as President; Bobby Ross was in his first year as the head coach of the Lions; running back Barry Sanders was in his prime; and Scott Mitchell was a legitimate quarterback in the NFL.

However, the Lions do pose a threat to the Vikings in a stark contrast of the two teams. The Lions bring in an offense that has found its groove and can put points on the board, while the Vikings' offense has yet to score 19 points this season, and has been the talk of the town-- and not in a good way. Conversely, the 26th-ranked defense the Lions possess is about as different as it gets from the Vikings' unit that is ranked 10th.

Without further ado, let's take a look at the three keys for a Minnesota Vikings victory:

1.) Win the turnover battle- Probably the most obvious and important statistic in determining which team wins or loses on a given day. Currently, the Lions are minus-four in turnover margin, but the Vikings aren't far ahead at a weak minus-two. Neither of the defenses has shown a propensity to create turnovers this season, but the Vikings have been proficient at it in recent years. Certainly the edge here would have to go to Minnesota; but if its stagnant offense doesn't protect the football this week, the team could be staring at its third straight defeat, after starting the season 2-0.

2.) Run the football early and often- Brad Childress' team cannot abandon the run this week and expect to win. The Lions have been phenomenal against the rush this season, holding opponents to three yards per carry on the ground and ranking 10th in the NFL in run 'D'.

So, once again, the yards may not come easy for running back Chester Taylor, but he needs to continue to get chances. The most telling stat for the Vikings early this season is that, when they won their first two games, and, for all intents and purposes, had the Chicago Bears beat, Taylor received more than 20 carries and the Vikings won the time of possession battle in each. The only game the Vikings haven't won the time of possession battle in was last week's 17-12 loss to the Bills. It was no coincidence they lost with Taylor only receiving 10 carries. The 213-pound back gets better as his touches increase and the game wears on, so staying committed to the run will be huge. It was instrumental in the team's Week 1 victory against the Redskins, where the back toted the rock 31 times and caught three passes.

3.) Reduce the mental mistakes and penalties- The Vikings continue to shoot themselves in the foot on a weekly basis with careless penalties, most resulting from mental lapses. Staying focused and cutting down on miscues will pay dividends. They are averaging 9.5 infractions per game, and, more often than not, they have come at critical junctures. Just last week two defensive offsides penalties, a false start on a two- point conversion and an offensive pass interference penalty cost the team six points on offense and seven on defense. Clean up the sloppy play, and there is no reason to believe the Vikings won't beat the Lions.

When all is said and done, expect the Vikings to defeat the Lions for a ninth straight time. But don't be fooled, the game could be closer than many expect.

Prediction: Vikings 20, Lions 19

-Eric Krupka is a senior writer for RealFootball365.com. He responds to readers email daily and can be reached at ekrupka@realfootball365.com

Post a comment (http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/articles/2006/10/vikings-threekeys-lions061006.html)



Pretty funny comment here, Eric: "Neither of the defenses has shown a propensity to create turnovers this season." No joke -- the Lions have racked up zero interceptions this season playing the Tampa 2. This team is a nightmare.


10-06-2006, 08:44 AM
Cant forget the fade to robinson in the endzone.. or anyone in the enzone besides the cheerleaders and ragnar

10-06-2006, 09:17 AM
#1 the Vikes have scored on every oppening drive. If they can get 7 instead of 3 t would be agreat boost for the entire team.

#2 Smoot a little less cushion while defending, also when going in to make a tackle get your head up, put your hat on somebody, and try not to fall down.

#3 pound the rock. Eat that clock down, make there defenders play closer towards the line of scrimage, oppenig up free recievers down feild.

Billy Boy
10-06-2006, 10:03 AM
#1 dont blow the win

#2 dont blow the win

#2 dont blow the win

10-06-2006, 10:09 AM
1. Score offensive Touchdowns

2. Make Tackels

3. Put lots of glue on the recievers gloves

10-06-2006, 10:23 AM
Score Touchdowns.

Score More Touchdowns.

Score an EXTRA Touchdown just for the heck of it!

10-06-2006, 10:34 AM
T-Williamson Catching the ball....if he can do this we will win this game!!!!

10-06-2006, 11:01 AM
1. Put the ball in the end zone!!!!!

2. Open up the playbook a little.

3. Remember that we are playing the Lions.
We don't lose to the Lions.

Billy Boy
10-06-2006, 11:10 AM
Give smoot incentives not to suck.
No fall downs all game and he gets one free sex scandal over bye week.
No giant cushions without giving up the big play and he gets one free drug possesion.
No blindly missed tackles and he doesnt get taped to the goal post over bye week.

Put Ragnaar in at TE to reinvigorate their performance.

Activate Chris Carter's lil bro Jason and bring Chris with him to show Troy the fundamentals of catching the ball.

Besides that we really dont have to do much to win.
3-2 at break should be pretty nice.

10-06-2006, 11:43 AM
"cajunvike" wrote:

Score Touchdowns.

Score More Touchdowns.

Score an EXTRA Touchdown just for the heck of it!

Wasn't that our gameplan just a few years ago?
Problem is even though we kept on scoring, so did the other team... ;)

10-06-2006, 12:04 PM
Run the ball consistently, protect it Chester!

Involve Wiggins more

Get some picks D !

Billy Boy
10-06-2006, 12:16 PM
Taylors drop wasnt so much his fault as it was bad blocking. Hes had 1 drop on like 5 frickzillion rushes for us.

10-06-2006, 12:37 PM
Yeah, he's held onto it for the most part. The last one though, was crappy timing!

10-06-2006, 12:38 PM
"cajunvike" wrote:

Score Touchdowns.

Score More Touchdowns.

Score an EXTRA Touchdown just for the heck of it!

i LOVE your strategy :D

#1 eliminate penalties....nothing kills a drive worse then penalities.

#2 stick with the run game, get more carries to taylor

#3 get your WRs to actually catch the ball when BJ throws it right to them.

and a couple extra's..... the offensive line needs to improve.....would be amazing if the defense could get a couple turnovers(ecspecially when the other QB throws the ball right to them).....smoot takes tackling lessons.

but hey no strategy works better then cajuns!!!

10-06-2006, 12:51 PM
Lions record since 2001:
2001-2002: 5-27-0
under Mornhinweg.
2003-2005: 15-28-0 under Mariucci. Ouch.
2006: 0-4 under Marineli.

Marinelli played offensive and defensive tackle at Utah back in 1968.
There are some rumors on the street that he may be Del Rio’s father.
We’re still waiting on the DNA tests.

Key to winning is to give the Lions as many pts as the Seachickens and Bears did.
Kitna must be pummelled and pummelled often.

10-06-2006, 01:06 PM
"Prophet" wrote:

Lions record since 2001:
2001-2002: 5-27-0
under Mornhinweg.
2003-2005: 15-28-0 under Mariucci. Ouch.
2006: 0-4 under Marineli.

And the GM is Matt Millen.

So, the answer clearly is:
Stop hiring people whose last names begin with "M".


10-06-2006, 06:43 PM
Fake a few more field goals & let Longwell throw some more TD's.

10-06-2006, 06:46 PM
1) Stop their run

Win the take-away game

Win the speical teams battle....

10-07-2006, 12:33 AM
Preview: Lions at Vikings (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/nfl/article/0,2777,DRMN_23918_5046409,00.html)

By Jon Krawczynski, Associated Press

October 5, 2006

MINNEAPOLIS — The Detroit Lions are coming to town, and not a moment too soon for the Minnesota Vikings.
After winning two games on the final possession to start the season, the Vikings have dropped two in a row in ugly fashion, struggling on offense and being inconsistent on defense.

That’s where the Lions come in.

The Vikings haven’t lost to the Lions since December 2001, going 8-0 in that span and winning in every way imaginable:

In shootouts — 38-36 in Detroit on the last game of the season of 2002.

In snoozers — 21-16 at Ford Field last season.

In snap follies — when Don Muhlbach short-hopped the snap on the potential game-tying extra point with 8 seconds left in 2004, giving the Vikings a 28-27 victory.

"That seems to have been our luck since I have been here," cornerback Dre’ Bly said. "Having an opportunity to win the game and then like a bad snap or a dropped ball or a blown coverage seems to be the difference in the game."

It looks like more of the same this time around. After an impressive defensive effort against Seattle in the opener, the Lions (0-4) limp into the Metrodome to face a Vikings team that has scored just two offensive touchdowns all season.

Minnesota got one against Buffalo last week, but managed just two field goals the rest of the game to lose 17-12.

Though it would seem like the Vikings should be elated to see the Lions this week, quarterback Brad Johnson said the way the offense is playing, it doesn’t matter who is on the other side of the field.

"I feel like a broken record at different times," Johnson said. "If we eliminate the negative plays, especially on first downs, eliminate the penalties, everything else will be kosher.

"It’s really not about the team we’re playing or the scheme that they’re playing. It’s more about what we’re doing, especially on first down, which kind of creates easier situations."

To be fair, the Vikings aren’t the only team to feast on the Lions.

Detroit is an NFL-worst 21-63 since 2001, which is why it hired Rod Marinelli away from Tampa Bay in the offseason. The disciplinarian has worked hard to instill a new attitude in Motown and erase a culture of losing that has lingered there for far too long.

"I think the understanding is coming, but the thing is, the habits under duress and pressure, that’s when they have to kick in, because the tendency under duress and pressure is to revert back to who you are or what you’ve been," Marinelli said.

The Lions have made strides on offense, scoring 58 points in the last two games after managing just 13 in the first two weeks of the season. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz has started to put his fingerprints on the offense, and defense-minded Marinelli couldn’t be more pleased.

"I’ve really been tickled with them," Marinelli said. "I didn’t know it would happen as fast as it is. I thought it would take the first quarter, four or five games, to really get the thing clicking."

Now Marinelli just needs his defense to catch up.

After allowing just nine points to high-powered Seattle in Week 1, the Lions have given up 75 in the last two games.

He’ll have to get that unit straightened out against a familiar face. Marinelli coached the defensive line in Tampa Bay when Johnson was the quarterback there, including on the team that won the Super Bowl after the 2002 season.

"I have so much respect for him and his intelligence for the game, his awareness in the pocket, his accuracy," Marinelli said. "I just admire him. I always have. And to be with him and to win a world championship with Brad, you just have to be on the field with him to really understand the presence he brings to a team."

Johnson returned the praise.

"He’s an awesome person and he’d be great to play for," Johnson said. "Obviously they haven’t got off to the start that they want, but I only see greatness for him and that team."

10-07-2006, 12:39 AM
Friday, October 06, 2006

Vikings, Lions, Looking to End Skids (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/scorecard/nflnews.asp?articleID=11634)

(Sports Network) - A pair of NFC North teams in need of a division victory meet this Sunday at the Metrodome, as they Minnesota Vikings welcome the winless Detroit Lions to town.

The Lions will try to avoid their second 0-5 start in the Matt Millen era when they take the field this weekend. Millen, the club's much-maligned President and CEO, watched Detroit go 0-12 in 2001, his first year with the club.

The latest setback in this year's drought came in St. Louis last Sunday. The Lions took a 34-30 lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Rams scored the final 11 points of the game to earn the win.

The Vikings lost a close one on the road last week as well, dropping a 17-12 decision in Buffalo. It was the second straight loss for Minnesota after posting wins over Washington and Carolina to open the campaign. The Vikings' two losses this year have come by a combined margin of eight points.

Minnesota is 0-1 in the division after losing to the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears in Week 3. The Lions, who are currently last in the North, have lost to the Bears and the Green Bay Packers.


The Vikings hold a 58-29-2 lead in the all-time series with the Lions, and have won eight straight over Detroit. Minnesota was a 27-14 home winner when the teams met in Week 9 of last season, and took a 21-16 decision at Ford Field in Week 13. The Lions are 1-12 against the Vikings since 1999, with their only win over that stretch a 27-24 home triumph in 2001, and are 0-8 at the Metrodome since last winning there in 1997.

Detroit's Rod Marinelli and Minnesota's Brad Childress will be meeting each other, as well as one another's respective franchise, for the first time as head coaches.


The Lions gained 370 yards of total offense against the Rams last week, but were still hurt by mistakes. Lions quarterback Jon Kitna (1,082 yards, 4 TD, 3 INT) threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns, but also lost a fumble and was picked off twice. The three Kitna turnovers led to 10 points for St. Louis. Wide receiver Roy Williams (25 catches, 384 yards, 1 TD) hauled in nine ball for 139 yards to lead Detroit, while fellow wideout Mike Furrey (22 catches, 242 yards, 2 TD) added eight catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions are ranked seventh in the NFL in passing offense with 252 yards per game.

The Vikings have done a decent job defending the pass this season and that was the case last week against Buffalo. Bills quarterback J.P. Losman threw for 222 yards and a touchdown despite being sacked three times by the Minnesota defense. Defensive tackle Kevin Williams (13 tackles, 2 sacks) and end Ray Edwards (3 tackles, 1 sack) each posted a sack for the Vikings. Cornerback Antoine Winfield (35 tackles, 1 INT) made a team-high 11 tackles. Minnesota is ranked 14th in the NFL in passing defense, allowing 200.5 yards per game.

Detroit has generated very little yardage on the ground this year and is ranked 29th in the NFL in that category (70.5 yards per game). However, the Lions did a better job running the ball last week in St. Louis and Kevin Jones (253 yards, 3 TD) wound up with 93 yards and two TDs on 19 carries. Jones is a dual threat for the Lions and his 21 receptions rank second in the league to New Orleans' Reggie Bush for the most by a running back. However, Jones' five catches against the Rams resulted in only four yards.

Minnesota turned in a strong effort against Willis McGahee and the Buffalo running game last Sunday. McGahee, who leads the NFL with 389 rushing yards, carried the ball 28 times for 78 yards for an average of just 2.8 yards per attempt. In addition to disrupting the pass attack Williams also led the interior line withe eight tackles. Defensive end Darrion Scott (12 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks) registered nine tackles, as did linebacker E.J. Henderson (23 tackles, 1/2 sack). The Vikings are ranked 11th in the NFL with 89 rushing yards allowed per game.


Childress has shown a dedication to the running game in his first year as a head coach, but that was tested last week against a staunch Bills defense. The Vikings found very little room to run in Buffalo and wound up with just 63 yards on 16 carries. Chester Taylor (298 yards, 1 TD) carried the ball 10 times for 23 yards and No. 2 back Mewelde Moore (50 yards) added 17 yards on two attempts. The Vikings are ranked 22nd in the NFL with 96.5 rushing yards per game.

The Lions defense is ranked 26th overall in the league this year, but their strong suit has been at stopping the run. The club is allowing an average of 86.5 rushing yards per game (10th in the NFL) and did a solid job against Steven Jackson and the Rams last week. St. Louis compiled 106 yards on the ground and Jackson, who leads the NFC in rushing yards, had 81 yards on 22 carries. Nose tackle Shaun Cody (11 tackles) led the interior line with three tackles. Outside linebackers Ernie Sims (35 tackles) and Paris Lenon (16 tackles) had eight and six stops, respectively.

Minnesota quarterback Brad Johnson set a season-high with 267 passing yards last week, but he also made some costly mistakes. Johnson (927 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT) completed 25-of-44 passes and did throw a touchdown pass, but he was also picked off twice in the second half. One of those interceptions resulted in a field goal that extended Buffalo's lead to 17-6 early in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Marcus Robinson (6 catches, 98 yards, 2 TD) was Johnson's most effective target, as he hauled in five passes for 78 yards and touchdown. Tight end Jermaine Wiggins (14 catches, 121 yards) added six catches for 59 yards. Minnesota is 11th in the league with 226 passing yards per game.

Detroit has been terrible in pass defense all season long, a trend that continued last week against the Rams. St. Louis quarterback Marc Bulger torched the Lions for 328 yards and three touchdown passes and wideouts Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce each had over 100 yards receiving. The Lions are ranked 30th in the NFL with 282 passing yards allowed per game and they have yet to post an interception this season. Cornerback Jamar Fletcher (18 tackles) led the secondary with nine tackles, while Daniel Bullocks (21 tackles) added eight stops.


This is a pivotal point of the season for the Vikings, and Childress is going to pound home the importance of heading into the bye week with a winning record. Minnesota has faced nothing but tough defenses this season, and should be ready to pounce on the wounded Lions.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Vikings 24, Lions 14

10-07-2006, 12:41 AM
Posted on Fri, Oct. 06, 2006

Lions' challenge is to hurry Vikings QB Johnson (http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/sports/15698753.htm)

By Nicholas J. Cotsonika
Detroit Free Press

10-07-2006, 08:15 AM
I'm really looking forward to tomorrows game. I think we are going to have a breakout game.

Vikings 27 - Lions 16

10-07-2006, 10:34 AM
If Childress removed his head from his ass since last Sunday we will win.