By Danny Cox
A team getting their first victory of the season is enough to make anyone extremely happy and that’s how the Detroit Lions are currently feeling. Still, that excitement and feeling needs to continue so it’s already time to get ready for next week’s game and that means a visit from the Minnesota Vikings.READ MORE: Michigan Announces $1.5 Million Tuition Giveaway, 100 Children To Receive $15,000
The Vikings have already gotten one victory over the Lions earlier this season with a 26-16 win in Week 2. A lot has happened and changed with both teams since then, and Detroit needs to focus on what worked this past weekend and definitely get their defense ready for what is coming their way.
The Minnesota Vikings are sitting at 3-2 after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs this past weekend, and they are currently looking like a mid-level team. Still, that’s a team that could possibly end up finding their way into the playoffs with nine or 10 wins due to some powerhouse teams in the NFC underachieving so far this season.
Minnesota Vikings on Offense
Offensively, the Vikings aren’t the most balanced team in the NFL and it shows. If they’re not passing the ball, Adrian Peterson is their only threat in the running game, and he hasn’t looked nearly as dangerous this season as in past years. Still, he is not a running back that can ever be underestimated because he can blow things up when you least expect it.
Teddy Bridgewater does spread the ball around in the passing game though with targets like Mike Wallace, Jarius Wright, Kyle Rudolph, and Stefon Diggs. Luckily for the Lions though, they don’t know how to find the end zone often as there are just three passing touchdowns in five games this season.
Minnesota Vikings on DefenseREAD MORE: AAA Offers 'Tow To Go' Program During Memorial Day Weekend
Minnesota doesn’t have a lot of playmakers on defense, but they do have a lot of contributors. Everson Griffen leads the team with three sacks and Eric Kendricks is right behind him with two. A number of other players have one or half a sack and shows a balanced pass rush.
The secondary leaves a lot to be desired though and that is where Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson can exploit some weaknesses. If the Lions stay away from Terence Newman, they could really find some holes down field.
Minnesota Vikings Players to Watch
Peterson has just 432 yards so far this season and three touchdowns which just doesn’t seem like a normal “All-Day” type of season. Still, he had his best rushing game of the season against the Lions when he racked up 134 yards on the ground and another 58 on receptions. With Detroit nursing a lot of injuries, that is not a good thing.
Rookie linebacker Eric Kendricks is a player with a long career ahead of him and it’s showing already. He has 29 tackles on the season and two sacks. Kendricks is quickly turning into a leader for the Vikings defense and he’s someone that Matthew Stafford doesn’t want to see in the offensive backfield all day.
The Detroit Lions can get their win back from earlier in the season, but they really can’t look at the 3-2 Minnesota Vikings and an under-performing Adrian Peterson as an easy task. They may not have a lot of stand-out talent, but there are talented players on both sides of the ball and they need to be taken seriously.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.