The Vikings swept the season series last season. The Vikings won 20-13 at Ford Field and 34-24 at Mall of America Field.
The Vikings only netted 227 yards of offense, led by Adrian Peterson's 102 rushing yards, in the Week 4 win in Detroit.
Lions on Offense
The Lions have weapons all over the offense. The big question mark however is the offensive line. Quarterback Matthew Stafford is not a runner, so giving him time is crucial for the offense.
The addition of Reggie Bush in the offseason gives the team a big play threat at running back.
Bush, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew, Nate Burleson, Ryan Broyles and Tony Scheffler form an outstanding group of receivers for Stafford.
Lions on Defense
The strength of the Lions defense is up front. Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley form one of the best defensive tackle tandems in the league. First round draft pick Ezekiel Ansah is going to be expected to pick up the pass rushing slack left by the departure of its three best pass rushing defensive ends, including both starters.
The Lions have solid players at the other levels, but lack the star power at linebacker and defensive back.
Best Individual Matchup to Watch
Calvin Johnson vs. Chris Cook
Johnson had only had five catches for 54 yards on 12 targets in the first matchup last season. In the second, he amassed 12 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets in the second meeting. The difference was Cook. Cook is not as big as Johnson, but is bigger than most corners Johnson plays against. Johnson is going to get his catches, but being physical with him is the key to limiting the damage he makes. Cook has the ability to do that.
Best Individual Matchup for the Vikings
Jared Allen vs. Riley Reiff
This may not be the easiest matchup Allen has all season, but he still has a chance to set the single game sack record. That can be said for about half the games this season for Allen. Reiff, a former first round draft pick, started eight games as a rookie last season. However, this season is his first as a full-time starter at left tackle. There were a lot of question marks as to whether or not Reiff has the skill set to be successful at left tackle in the NFL.
The Vikings enter the game as five point underdogs. The Vikings have the players in the key areas to win the game. The Lions are going to have to win shootout games this season. The Vikings are going to try to pound it out and win with defense. Peterson will have a big game and the Vikings win by a touchdown. Vikings 24, Lions 17.