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Vikings-Lions matchup of the day: Saturday

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By Christian West

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

Vikings offensive line vs. Lions defensive line.

Without Ndamukong Suh Sunday night against the Saints, the Lions' defensive line struggled to consistently get pressure, especially up the middle. It allowed Drew Brees to step up into the pocket with ease and deliver the ball downfield against a banged-up Lions secondary.

Suh will miss his second consecutive game and it will be up to Corey Williams and company to make up for Suh's lost production in the middle of the line and help edge rushers Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril to get after the quarterback.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Vikings' offensive line is considerably worse than the Saints 'outfit: Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera are no Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans. The Vikings have struggled with pass protection all season and Christian Ponder has taken a beating over the last few games. In the team's first meeting this season, Donovan McNabb was sacked four times and hit seven times.

With Ponder's mobility limited because of a hip injury, the Vikings offensive line will need to improve their play. The Lions showed some weakness up front without Suh and the Vikings should look to exploit his absence.

 

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