Vikings-Lions matchup of the day: Friday

Posted Dec. 09, 2011 @ 2:13 p.m.
Posted By Christian West

Here's a key matchup to watch in Sunday's Vikings-Lions game.

Vikings WR Percy Harvin vs. Lions defense

Harvin has played great the past three games, with 324 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has done a great job of getting Harvin the ball in space and allowing him to utilize his supreme athleticism in the open field and create big plays.

The Lions' defense has struggled preventing the big play over the past couple weeks, allowing passing plays of 60-plus yards in two consecutive games.

As the Vikings' only legitimate weapon — if Adrian Peterson again is out — Harvin will be the focus of the Lions' defense. He needs to be forced to play in traffic and not allowed to break into the open field where he can make defenders miss. That means not playing Harvin one-on-one, which led to his two touchdowns in Week 13.

Harvin is what makes this offense go without Peterson. Stopping him has to be the top priority for the Lions.