Vikings-Lions game scout

The Vikings are in search of a full game, but their competition won't include Lions DT Nick Fairley. Get the keys to the game, fast facts and a report from the two cities.

Sunday
Houston Texans (2-0) at New Orleans Saints (1-1)
New England Patriots (2-0) at Buffalo Bills (2-0)
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-2)
Miami Dolphins (0-2) at Cleveland Browns (1-1)
Denver Broncos (1-1) at Tennessee Titans (1-1)
New York Giants (1-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
Detroit Lions (2-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)
New York Jets (2-0) at Oakland Raiders (1-1)
Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) at San Diego Chargers (1-1)
Baltimore Ravens (1-1) at St. Louis Rams (0-2)
Green Bay Packers (2-0) at Chicago Bears (1-1)
Arizona Cardinals (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (0-2)
Atlanta Falcons (1-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) at Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
Monday
Washington Redskins (2-0) at Dallas Cowboys (1-1)


Detroit Lions (2-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET
GAMEDATE: 9/25/11
SURFACE: Natural grass
TV: FOX, Dick Stockton, John Lynch, Jaime Maggio


KEYS TO THE GAME: The Vikings' focus this week has been on playing 60 minutes of solid football after being outscored 41-3 following halftime of their first two games. They also need to get RB Adrian Peterson untracked from the outset to keep the Lions' red-hot offense off the field as much as possible.

Minnesota will receive a boost from the return of DT Kevin Williams following a two-game suspension. The key for Lions QB Matthew Stafford will be patience. Detroit has been moving the ball up and down the field, but the Vikings play a lot of two-deep coverage intended to thwart the vertical passing game.

FAST FACTS: The Lions have lost 11 consecutive road games to NFC North rivals. ... The Vikings are the first team in NFL history to blow double-digit halftime leads in each of their first two games.

VIKINGS

The Vikings' desperate need to finally play a 60-minute game hinges on the offense's ability to control the game and make plays beyond halftime.

Favored to lose to the Lions for the first time at home since 1981, the Vikings are 0-2 with a 27th-ranked offense that's scored just 30 points.

If that wasn't bad enough, Percy Harvin, the team's best receiver, missed practice on Thursday because of an illness.

Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said earlier in the day that he wants to get Harvin even more involved in the offense. Harvin played only 30 of 65 snaps in last week's 24-20 loss to the Buccaneers, but he did have a game-high seven catches for 76 yards and two carries for 18 yards.

"We definitely want to expand Percy's dynamic ability," Musgrave said. "And we want to do a lot of good things in all packages. Certain packages Percy's a part of, and certain packages he's not. We want to play to his strengths, he's so dynamic and plays with such passion that we want to get effectiveness and get good bang for our buck when he is on the field."

The Vikings haven't lost at home to Detroit since 1997. But the Lions are 2-0, while the Vikings have been outscored 41-3 in the second half of games.

"We're 0-2 and we know what we have to do," running back Adrian Peterson said. "We have too much talent in here to be in the position that we're in."

LIONS

There are two topics du jour around Detroit these days. One, of course, is whether this early success is for real or if it is just another in a long line of Lions' teases. The other is if and when rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley will play.

Regardless of how much success the Lions defensive line has had already this season, the public clamor to see the team's 13th overall pick continues to get louder and louder.

"I am champing at the bit, too," Fairley said last week.

He broke a bone in his foot on the second day of training camp and had surgery the next day. He has yet to practice since the surgery.

"I am just working with the trainers and trying to get everything to 110 percent so when I get out there I will be ready for the long run," he said. "Everything is going good. I am just waiting for the word that I can go."

Coach Jim Schwartz will not put a timetable on his return, but he won't play Sunday.

"At this point he's just an injury-report guy," Schwartz said. "We'll get him back as soon as we can. He's making good progress. He's going to play a lot of good football for us this year. When he is able, and he can represent himself well, we will get him out on the field."

The Lions have the luxury of erring on the side of caution. With Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams, Sammie Hill and Andre Fluellen playing so well at defensive tackle, they can give Fairley all the time he needs to heal.

"With the depth that we have, it helps us not have to be impatient or make a bad decision," Schwartz said. "We don't have to put any player out before he's ready. That's been a help in this situation."

If Fairley could return to practice next week, there would be a slim chance he could play at Dallas on Oct. 2, but that would be pushing it. Cornerback Alphonso Smith, who also missed training camp with a broken foot, has been practicing for two weeks and still hasn't been activated on Sunday.

"I get excited just seeing him work with the trainers," defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said. "He's a great athlete. You see him on the side in street clothes and you wonder who the guy is. But you get him on the field and it's like he's a different person."


Viking Update Top Stories

\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"Sunday
Houston Texans (2-0) at New Orleans Saints (1-1)
New England Patriots (2-0) at Buffalo Bills (2-0)
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-2)
Miami Dolphins (0-2) at Cleveland Browns (1-1)
Denver Broncos (1-1) at Tennessee Titans (1-1)
New York Giants (1-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
Detroit Lions (2-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)
New York Jets (2-0) at Oakland Raiders (1-1)
Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) at San Diego Chargers (1-1)
Baltimore Ravens (1-1) at St. Louis Rams (0-2)
Green Bay Packers (2-0) at Chicago Bears (1-1)
Arizona Cardinals (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (0-2)
Atlanta Falcons (1-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) at Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
Monday
Washington Redskins (2-0) at Dallas Cowboys (1-1)


Detroit Lions (2-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET
GAMEDATE: 9/25/11
SURFACE: Natural grass
TV: FOX, Dick Stockton, John Lynch, Jaime Maggio


KEYS TO THE GAME: The Vikings' focus this week has been on playing 60 minutes of solid football after being outscored 41-3 following halftime of their first two games. They also need to get RB Adrian Peterson untracked from the outset to keep the Lions' red-hot offense off the field as much as possible.

Minnesota will receive a boost from the return of DT Kevin Williams following a two-game suspension. The key for Lions QB Matthew Stafford will be patience. Detroit has been moving the ball up and down the field, but the Vikings play a lot of two-deep coverage intended to thwart the vertical passing game.

FAST FACTS: The Lions have lost 11 consecutive road games to NFC North rivals. ... The Vikings are the first team in NFL history to blow double-digit halftime leads in each of their first two games.

VIKINGS

The Vikings' desperate need to finally play a 60-minute game hinges on the offense's ability to control the game and make plays beyond halftime.

Favored to lose to the Lions for the first time at home since 1981, the Vikings are 0-2 with a 27th-ranked offense that's scored just 30 points.

If that wasn't bad enough, Percy Harvin, the team's best receiver, missed practice on Thursday because of an illness.

Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said earlier in the day that he wants to get Harvin even more involved in the offense. Harvin played only 30 of 65 snaps in last week's 24-20 loss to the Buccaneers, but he did have a game-high seven catches for 76 yards and two carries for 18 yards.

\"We definitely want to expand Percy's dynamic ability,\" Musgrave said. \"And we want to do a lot of good things in all packages. Certain packages Percy's a part of, and certain packages he's not. We want to play to his strengths, he's so dynamic and plays with such passion that we want to get effectiveness and get good bang for our buck when he is on the field.\"

The Vikings haven't lost at home to Detroit since 1997. But the Lions are 2-0, while the Vikings have been outscored 41-3 in the second half of games.

\"We're 0-2 and we know what we have to do,\" running back Adrian Peterson said. \"We have too much talent in here to be in the position that we're in.\"

LIONS

There are two topics du jour around Detroit these days. One, of course, is whether this early success is for real or if it is just another in a long line of Lions' teases. The other is if and when rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley will play.

Regardless of how much success the Lions defensive line has had already this season, the public clamor to see the team's 13th overall pick continues to get louder and louder.

\"I am champing at the bit, too,\" Fairley said last week.

He broke a bone in his foot on the second day of training camp and had surgery the next day. He has yet to practice since the surgery.

\"I am just working with the trainers and trying to get everything to 110 percent so when I get out there I will be ready for the long run,\" he said. \"Everything is going good. I am just waiting for the word that I can go.\"

Coach Jim Schwartz will not put a timetable on his return, but he won't play Sunday.

\"At this point he's just an injury-report guy,\" Schwartz said. \"We'll get him back as soon as we can. He's making good progress. He's going to play a lot of good football for us this year. When he is able, and he can represent himself well, we will get him out on the field.\"

The Lions have the luxury of erring on the side of caution. With Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams, Sammie Hill and Andre Fluellen playing so well at defensive tackle, they can give Fairley all the time he needs to heal.

\"With the depth that we have, it helps us not have to be impatient or make a bad decision,\" Schwartz said. \"We don't have to put any player out before he's ready. That's been a help in this situation.\"

If Fairley could return to practice next week, there would be a slim chance he could play at Dallas on Oct. 2, but that would be pushing it. Cornerback Alphonso Smith, who also missed training camp with a broken foot, has been practicing for two weeks and still hasn't been activated on Sunday.

\"I get excited just seeing him work with the trainers,\" defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said. \"He's a great athlete. You see him on the side in street clothes and you wonder who the guy is. But you get him on the field and it's like he's a different person.\"

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