For much of the past decade, fans of the Minnesota Vikings have been able to look at the schedule every April, find where the Detroit Lions are located, and feel pretty good about winning during those weeks. After all, the Vikings have won 18 of the last 21 games in this series, and over the course of the history of the franchise, the Vikings have more wins over Detroit than over any other team.
However, this Sunday could mark a shift in that trend, as the Lions come into this game red-hot on both sides of the ball, and are actually expected to win this weekend in Minneapolis, a city they haven't won in since December of 1997.
Detroit comes into this week's game tied for the lead in the NFC North with a 2-0 record. In Week One, they went on the road and defeated the same Tampa Bay Buccaneers that the Vikings lost to last week by a score of 27-20. Then, in their home opener last weekend, the Lions flat-out annihilated the Kansas City Chiefs by a final tally of 48-3, finishing the game with 41 unanswered points. Through the season's first two weeks, the Lions are second in the NFL in points scored, averaging 37.5 points per contest, and they're also second in the NFL in points allowed with an average of 11.5 points allowed per game.
For the Vikings, on the other hand, both of their games have been a tale of two halves. In the first halves of their two games, they've outscored the San Diego Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a combined total of 34-7. In the second half of those two games, they've been outscored by those two teams to the tune of 41-3, and that's why the Vikings sit at 0-2 after the first two weeks of the 2011 season. The Vikings really need to get their second half woes figured out if they want this season to be anything short of an outright flop.
In past years, a visit from the Detroit Lions would have been looked upon by Vikings fans as a chance for the team to "get healthy" and get themselves back on the right track. However, with the roll that Detroit is on and the problems that Minnesota is currently facing, that certainly isn't the case in this one.
Kickoff for this game from the Metrodome is scheduled for 12:00 PM Central time on Sunday.