Vikings-Lions game plan

The Vikings hold a lot of advantages on offense and defense and got their star defensive tackles back. We preview some of the matchups to watch in Sunday's NFC North contest.

VIKINGS

The Vikings have chosen their words carefully when talking about this matchup, despite the fact everyone expects this to be a blowout. The reality is that the Vikings should have no problem leaving Detroit with a victory.

The Lions' defense is ranked 31st in the NFL and 32nd, or dead last, against the rush, meaning running back Adrian Peterson and the NFL's fourth-ranked rushing game has the potential to have a huge day. Certainly, Peterson should have his eighth 100-yard rushing game.

Veteran running back Chester Taylor could see significant time if this one gets out of hand. Gus Frerotte also should be able to pass the ball against the NFL's 19th-ranked pass defense.

The Vikings defense also should have little problem with an offense that is ranked 30th overall, 30th in rushing and 26th in passing.

The Vikings faced Dan Orlovsky in October when they escaped with a 12-10 victory over Detroit at the Metrodome. This time the defense will go against former Viking Daunte Culpepper.

Culpepper isn't the threat to run that he once was, meaning the Vikings shouldn't have to worry about him moving the ball on the ground too much.

LIONS

The Lions must limit Adrian Peterson and pressure Gus Frerotte. In the teams' first meeting, Oct. 12 at the Metrodome, Peterson rushed for 111 yards but didn't really hurt the Lions. His longest run was 13 yards, and he fumbled twice - once inside the Detroit 10. The Lions sacked Frerotte five times, and aside from an 86-yard touchdown pass, he struggled.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH

RB Adrian Peterson vs. Lions defensive tackles – Peterson rushed for 131 yards last Sunday night against Chicago and figures to have an even bigger day this time around. Lions defensive tackles Chuck Darby and Cory Redding will be on the front line attempting to contain Peterson. The Lions are likely to move eight men into the box in order to try to slow Peterson but this will open up opportunities for Gus Frerotte, Bernard Berrian and the passing game.

DE Jared Allen vs. LT Jeff Backus – DE Jared Allen had three sacks in the Vikings' victory over Chicago on Sunday night and this time will be going against Detroit left tackle Jeff Backus. Allen had a sack in the first meeting between these teams and will look to make life difficult for Lions quarterback Daunte Culpepper this time around.

Lions' interior offensive line vs. Vikings' defensive tackles: The Lions get back left guard Edwin Mulitalo (knee), center Dominic Raiola (hand) and right guard Stephen Peterman (knee), and they must try to control the Williams Wall and at least try to control the clock.


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