Detroit (0-4) at Minnesota (2-2) Sunday 1:00 pm EDT
MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) - Rod Marinelli still is looking for his
first win as coach of the Detroit Lions. He may have a tough
time getting it against the NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings.
The Lions have lost their last eight visits to the Metrodome
heading into Sunday's matchup against the Vikings.
Detroit has not won here since a 14-13 victory in 1997. The
Lions also have lost eight in a row and 12 of the last 13
meetings between the teams.
Brad Johnson helped the Vikings sweep the series from the Lions
for the fourth straight year last season. The 15-year veteran
completed 32-of-45 passes for 392 yards and four touchdowns
without a turnover.
Johnson went 15-of-22 for 136 yards and two scores in a 27-14
victory here on November 6.
Marinelli, a former defensive line coach who knows Johnson from
their days in Tampa Bay, will be hoping his unit shows some
After limiting NFC champion Seattle to nine points in the
opener, the Lions have allowed 34, 31 and 41 points in their
last three contests. Detroit surrendered 427 total yards in
last Sunday's 41-34 loss at St. Louis.
While the Lions' defense is struggling, the offense is showing
signs of life under new coordinator Mike Martz. Detroit has
erupted for 58 points the last two games after managing just 13
in its first two contests.
Jon Kitna threw for two touchdowns and Kevin Jones ran for a
pair of scores in last week's loss to the Rams.
Also featuring a first-year coach in Brad Childress, the Vikings
got off to a 2-0 start but have dropped their last two contests.
Johnson threw two interceptions and Chester Taylor managed just
23 yards rushing on 10 attempts as Minnesota dropped a 17-12
decision at Buffalo last Sunday.
Both teams are coming off frustrating road losses. Ironically, Brad Childress, a former offensive coordinator with the Eagles, has his team playing very good defense, while Rod Marinelli, a former defensive line coach in Tampa, has seen his defense struggle.
The Minnesota offense has only scored three touchdowns in four games and Detroit's defense has given over 30 points in the last three games. The good news for the Lions is the Vikings have not scored more than 19 points in a game. The Minnesota defense has only allowed only five touchdowns in four games.