GAMEDAY: Vikings (1-0) at Lions (1-0)

Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson will again be asked to simply manage the game as long as Minnesota doesn't fall behind by more than a score. Much more inside as we preview Detroit's home opener on Sunday against the 1-0 Minnesota Vikings.

KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:05 ET
GAMEDATE: 9/16/07
SURFACE: Artificial
TV: FOX, Matt Vasgersian, JC Pearson, Jennifer Hammond
SERIES: 92nd meeting. Vikings lead series, 60-29-2, giving them their most victories over any opponent versus the Lions. The Vikings' 10-game winning streak against Detroit is the longest in the NFL by a team against an opponent.

PREDICTION: Lions 24 - Vikings 16

KEYS TO THE GAME: Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson will again be asked to simply manage the game as long as Minnesota doesn't fall behind by more than a score. The emphasis is on ground game, which could rely more on rookie RB Adrian Peterson if Chester Taylor isn't able to go. If the Lions have a defensive strength, it's against the run, and DT Shaun Rogers needs to lead the effort. ... The Lions desperately want to get out to an early lead and force the Vikings into their type of game -- which would be high scoring. Minnesota scored two defensive touchdowns last Sunday and Lions QB Jon Kitna is certainly prone to turnovers. Expect Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz to spread the field in an attempt to negate the blitz packages the Vikings used effectively in beating Atlanta.

KEY INJURIES: Vikings: Taylor (hip) won't be 100 percent if he's able to play at all; FB Tony Richardson (bruised forearm) should play. Lions: RB Kevin Jones (foot) and backup RB T.J. Duckett (ankle) aren't expected to play.

FAST FACTS: The Vikings are 5-0 at Ford Field. ... Lions WR Roy Williams has a touchdown catch in four consecutive games.



  • RB T.J. Duckett said he felt better, but he didn't practice Thursday. He suffered a mild high ankle sprain Sunday at Oakland and probably won't play this week.
  • WR Brandon Middleton was signed to the practice squad after being released Wednesday. The Lions liked Middleton in the preseason, but they needed to release him to make room for Aveion Cason because of Duckett's injury.
  • CB A.J. Davis was released from the practice squad, meaning the Lions got essentially nothing from Oakland for quarterback Josh McCown and wide receiver Mike Williams, the 10th pick of the 2005 draft. The Lions drafted Davis with the fourth-round pick they got in the trade.
  • LS Don Muhlbach has been essentially perfect since his fourth NFL game, when he blew an extra-point snap at the end of regulation and the Lions lost to Minnesota, 28-27, instead of forcing overtime.
  • RT George Foster made no excuses for his three fourth-quarter false starts Sunday at Oakland, and offensive coordinator Mike Martz said Foster otherwise played well.

    Vikes will likely try to blitz Detroit

    The Vikings look like they will blitz more often this season, and the Lions will be ready Sunday.
    "They're going to blitz us," offensive coordinator Mike Martz said. "I can promise you they'll blitz us this week. We've got to make sure we understand where they're coming from and how to pick them up."
    The Lions' Jon Kitna was sacked 63 times last season, more than any other quarterback in the NFL. But the Lions have improved their protection, bringing in offensive line coach Jim Colletto, left guard Edwin Mulitalo and right tackle George Foster.
    In Sunday's opener at Oakland, the line didn't really allow a sack. The team allowed two, but one was a coverage sack when tight end Dan Campbell finally lost a battle and the other was a scramble that went for no gain.
    "I think the offensive line was a little bit further along," Martz said. "With all the protections that we have, I think they did a real good job with it. And they'll get challenged this week.
    "I'm sure they'll pressure us, come after us. We've just got to be able to deal with that pressure."

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