Wow, it’s already week 3. The Detroit Lions are scoring a nice first win of the season and the playing field in NFC North is completely level with each team at 1-1. The Lions have a chance to outrun at least one division rival when they face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
The Vikings were one of those teams that many believe may have a chance to overtake the Green Bay Packers this season and win the north. They’ve already beaten them once this season in week 1. We’ll see what they can do in the long run. They are coming out of a week 2 beating by the Philadelphia Eagles, a team on which the Lions scored 35 points. There is some reason to have some confidence that Lions could win this game.
We spoke to Christopher Gates of The Daily Norsemen to better read the Vikings and see if the Vikings are real. Here’s what he had to say:
Vikings are 1-1 after two weeks. What impressed the Vikings the most during that time?
“After the first two weeks of this season, what impressed Vikings the most was the change in attacking philosophy, which is something we expected in the move from Mike Zimmer to Kevin O’Connell. The Vikings got much more aggressive in the passing game under O’Connell and up to this point they had a much less addiction to the ground game. The team uses far more personal “11s” under O’Connell than they did during the Zimmer era, and this has allowed them to bring many of their best players onto the pitch more frequently. The results have been mixed so far, with the bout looking very good against Green Bay in the opening before having its fights in Philadelphia on Monday night, but I think as the team spends more time on this bout, better and more consistent will be ‘I will go on’.
What are their strengths?
“Their strength up to this point has been their unpredictability. Again, they are using very different clusters of staff that teams are used to seeing them use since the Zimmer era, and that has prevented teams from focusing too much on Dalvin Cook (again, with mixed results) and opened up a bit. things for the passing game. We saw what was done for Justin Jefferson in the first two weeks of the season, and now the key will be to get players like Adam Thielen, KJ Osborn and Irv Smith Jr. more integrated into things (although Smith actually holds the ball when he hits him. in the hands would be of great help). With Kevin O’Connell coming from the Sean McVay school, I think he will continue to invent new and innovative ways to keep the attack fresh and unpredictable throughout the season. “
What are their weaknesses?
“The biggest weakness, by far, was the running defense, and it’s really disappointing. Both Green Bay and Philadelphia practically made their way onto the pitch against the Vikings defense, with Green Bay averaging over six yards / carry in the opening and Philadelphia using Jalen Hurts in addition to their running backs to great effect in Week 2. It’s disappointing because Vikings have spent a lot of money in the past couple of seasons to bring in players who are supposed to prevent that kind of thing like Harrison Phillips, Dalvin Tomlinson, Jordan Hicks and so on. I don’t know if it’s part of the move to a 3-4 defense under Ed Donatell which is causing a lot of trouble or if the teams are just blowing up the Vikings defense on offense, but the running defense was a big disappointment at this point and something the Vikings need to understand quickly.
At this time, the Vikings are the 6-point favorites. Do you accept that bet?
“At this point absolutely not. I think Vikings are still quite a talented football team and I still think they will find a way to win this game on Sunday, but at this point they shouldn’t be touchdown favorites over anyone, let alone a team that is scoring. points into a ludicrous clip as Lions currently are. I think Vikings will get off the mat after the glue they took on Monday Night Football a couple of days ago, but I don’t think I’d give that many points until they can show a little more consistency on both sides of the game. ball”.
Who wins this thing?
“Lions are one of the hottest bouts in the NFL and they’ll get their points in that. But I think Vikings will be able to take advantage of what was a lousy Detroit defense during the first two games. Justin Jefferson will bounce back from his tough performance in Philadelphia and organize another big game, and the complementary Viking parts around him will start getting more involved here too. Like both games between these teams last season, I think it will be a close match, but I will get Vikings to win 30-27 and put myself firmly on top of NFC North after three weeks. “