Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings – Sunday November 11, 2012 1:00PM EST
The online sports books definitely expected a better first half of the season for the Detroit Lions than 4-4. Considering how poorly the Lions played in all eight of its games, it is amazing that the team was able to escape with a .500 record. But the Lions did start to build momentum in its last two games that showed that Detroit is ready to start playing with authority now. The biggest change in Detroit’s game is that quarterback Matthew Stafford has suddenly figured out how to play his game and the ball is now getting down the field to receivers like Calvin Johnson.
The Minnesota Vikings had the kind of start to the season that the Lions was supposed to have. The legal online sports betting experts started to believe that the Vikings were for real until Minnesota hit on its latest two-game losing streak. Quarterback Christian Ponder looked like he could do no wrong in the first few games of the season. But as the team limped to a 5-4 record, Ponder started to throw interceptions and make the bad decisions that he had become known for last season. It looks like the Lions and the Vikings are headed in different directions.
The Detroit Lions are pretty thankful that running back Mikel Leshoure is on their roster, because the sports betting experts would be giving Detroit no chance this season without Leshoure. The newly discovered Detroit running game is taking pressure off of Stafford who is being allowed to stand in the pocket and deliver the ball. When Matthew Stafford has time to analyze a defense, he is usually able to dismantle that defense. With the push that Leshoure is giving to the running game, the Lions’ offensive line has been able to pass block much better and the result has been more wins for the Lions.
It is never fair to blame one player for a team’s misfortunes, but the football betting experts really have no choice but to lay this one mostly on Christian Ponder. Ponder played the first four games of the season without throwing an interception and the Vikings went 4-0. Ever since Ponder started throwing interceptions, the Vikings have had problems winning games. The problem is that Ponder throws interceptions at the wrong times and they often come back for six points. That needs to stop if the Vikings are going to win.
The Bottom Line
The Vikings are trying to hold on to its spot it the NFC North playoff race, but the Lions are coming on fast. If the Vikings want to stay in the playoff picture, then it needs to win this game. If the Lions come away with the win, then it could be a very long second half of the season for the Vikings and its fans.
Read more about the Detroit Lions and its early season troubles.
Pick: Detroit Lions