Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings Free Pick - 9/8/13
Minnesota Vikings (0-0) at Detroit Lions (0-0)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm (Ford Field)
The Line: Detroit Lions -4.5 -- Over/Under: 46.5 See the Latest Odds
The Minnesota Vikings head to Ford Field to open the season with the Detroit Lions Sunday.
If Minnesota were to be judged on their preason performance it wouldn't be a passing grade. Having said that head coach Leslie Frazier held out Adrian Peterson to keep his prized back fresh and injury free heading in to the opener with Detroit. With him the Vikings have a shot at returning to the postseason and without him, well that wouldn't be a pleasant scenario. The question of whether Christian Ponder is the man that can make the throws needed in the NFL is also an unknown but he should have the talent at receiver to catch balls that are at least close to being on target. The signing of Greg Jennings combined with rookie Cordarelle Patterson and Jerome Simpson gives the Vikes a competent receiving corps but the loss of Percy Harvin hurts. The Minny defense needs Jared Allen to return to form and make a living in opponent's back fields while Kevin Williams needs to be a force aginst the run while the secondary begins life without Antoine Winfield.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit begins the new year hoping to return to the glory of the playoffs in 2011 before falling off the map a year ago with a 4-12 record. On paper the Lions have the necessary fire power to make a little noise with potential star Matthew Stafford who has the talent to be a top tier signal caller and shows it from time to time. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson automatically would make an average quarterback better as he simply makes plays and will make the tough and some times impossible catch in traffic. Nate Burleson should be another dependable pass catcher while the addition of Reggie Bush in the back field should give the rushing attack a boost and give Stafford another weapon in the passing game. The defense is solid up front with Ndamukong Suh anchoring the front seven and the secondary would be better if Louis Selmas stays on the field which hasn't been the case.
Minnesota was awful in the preason while Detroit scored at will at times and generally were solid defensively. Of course that means very little here so with Peterson finally playing I'll take a shot with the visitors for now but I have a week before the game to see who is hurt and who is not so this might change...