Cue the fish alien.
This game is a trap for the Detroit Lions.
They gave up a large number of big plays last week against the Titans, and were down 14 points with 30 seconds left to play.
They got lucky and landed a series of miracles to reach overtime, but they were easily beaten in that game.
The Minnesota Vikings did the exact opposite this weekend - they stunned everyone by beating the San Fransisco 49ers, and not on some last-minute fluke or botched call by the now-gone replacement refs.
They flat out beat the 49ers, both on offense and defense (although special teams play did set up a couple of San Fransisco field goals). I expected them to be good, but not THAT good.
Right now, bookies favor the Lions by somewhere between 3 and 4 points, depending on which one you ask.
Oddsmakers don't decide their point spreads based on how good they think a team is, but rather based on how they believe the public is going to bet. They try and create a balance, so that both teams are being bet on evenly, which makes the point spread a sort of unofficial poll.
The public has it wrong. The Vikings will win this game and silence Detroit fans, winning 31-24.
The Vikings obviously have a talented offense. Percy Harvin was a favorite target of mine in fantasy football this year, going outside the top 20 WRs while having a chance to score in the top 10.
Kyle Rudolph had a lot of preseason hype, and last week put up two touchdowns (while Detroit allowed a 61-yard touchdown for Jared Cook, the Titans' tight end). Adrian Peterson looks like his old self, and Toby Gerhart has always been a better than average backup.
The biggest reason I expect the Vikings' offense to do well this week has yet to see the field. Jerome Simpson will post 100 yards and a TD in his Vikings debut. The Lions' secondary missed numerous opportunities to make plays, and just generally got run over last week.
When A.J. Green missed a game for the Bengals last year, Simpson played like a starter (and later in the year, he did the famous flip). The Lions cannot scout this Vikings' offense on tape, since Simpson has never played a regular season game with the Vikings before.
The biggest surprise of last week, and of this game, is the Vikings' defense. The defensive line got penetration, the secondary had strong coverage on a strong trio of receivers (including some tips and picks), and when a 49er did get the ball down the field, the Vikings swarmed the ball and wrapped up for the tackle.
The Lions will be limited to just 250 total yards, despite last week's emergence of Mikel Leshoure.
Calvin Johnson will still get his numbers because he is Megatron, and is therefore virtually unstoppable, but the offense as a whole just won't be able to keep the ball moving unless they force feed it to the big man.
At this point, we all need to consider the Vikings a playoff contender. The resurgent D, combined with the high-powered offense, makes them too good. Place your bets now, before the odds change.
The author usually cheats and uses the score as a fourth bold prediction, but he is predicting an upset. You can go on Twitter (@RGDSports) or Facebook (RGDSports@yahoo.com) to debate the truth of his prognostications, or to just name the team on his hat so he will consider trading you Jerome Simpson to shore up the weak group of WRs on your fantasy team.