But the Lions, still plugging away at that losing streak, exposed some weaknesses through the first half of their game against the Vikings in Week 2, during which they led 10-7 at halftime.
Detroit wasn't relying on desperate smoke and mirrors, like Cleveland had a week earlier when it went to the Wildcat against Minnesota with almost no success. These Lions plays, all to the outside, hit the Vikings where they're weakest (relatively, mind you), against the outside run, and opened up some larger passing gains later in the game.
Here's the question: does anyone in San Francisco -- crusty ol'
Therefore, look for the 49ers, who don't have the pass protection to attempt anything deep with quarterback
Willis has his hands full with Peterson, but he's not facing an impossible task. When Willis takes on blockers, he'll often be dealing with new starting center
Consider this: each quarterback has completed just one pass of 20 or more yards this season. Favre and Hill rank 31st and 28th, respectively, in passing yards, as well as 28th and 25th in passing first downs. And each is in the top four in sacks, suggesting they're content to take the loss over risking a turnover on a forced throw. Meanwhile, each ranks in the top 10 in completion percentage (Favre is No. 1 at .771), implying they've got the tools, but they're just not called on a ton (31st and 24th in attempts, respectively).
So what happens when the ground game just isn't getting it done, as could be the case for either of these teams this week? Forced to pick, I'd favor Favre in this case, even against the 49ers' formidable force of cornerbacks. Against San Francisco he'll likely face an eight-man front the majority of the game. That leaves a little room to work in the secondary, and if Favre can get an extra second or two, I expect he'll connect with speedster
Here's who's I like in this Week 3 matchup:
This one should sort things out in the NFC, putting the Vikings atop a fierce North pack and throwing the 49ers back into the mediocre West fray -- meaning both could still make the playoffs. The defenses are a stalemate. I'll give Peterson a slight edge among the running backs because he doesn't gravitate towards the middle of the line as much as Gore. And I like Favre over Hill, more because of his weapons, which he'll finally have to use.