NFL TV Schedule Week 14

December 11, 2011 by staff 

NFL TV Schedule Week 14, Minnesota at Detroit, 1 p.m. ET: This is a must-win for the Lions, who still have NFC wild-card aspirations. Without Kevin Smith, the Lions plan to rotate Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams at running back. The Vikings, even without Chris Cook, are getting healthier in the secondary. But do they have enough to double WR Calvin Johnson and keep him off the scoreboard?

QB Matthew Stafford will be starting his 13th consecutive game and much of his passing game revolves around his tight ends; he likes to control the football, then take his shots to Johnson. Both teams excel at rushing the quarterback, and it makes sense that Joe Webb will see some action for the Vikings because Christian Ponder simply isn’t right.

Of the two Minnesota offensive stars, Ponder appears closer to starting today than running back Adrian Peterson. Ponder expects to wear a pad to protect his hip pointer and doesn’t plan to use a painkiller like he has in the past. Peterson remains bothered by a high ankle sprain and would be playing at less than 100 percent. Toby Gerhart has been a solid replacement for Peterson, but he simply doesn’t have home run acceleration.

CZAR’S SCOOP: Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham doesn’t like all the TVanlysts taking shots at him and head coach Jim Schwartz for the seemingly out-of-control play of the Lions, but sometimes reality bites. Not only is star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh serving the second game of his suspension, but three more Lions players were fined this week by the league. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew was docked $25,000 for bumping an official last week, while punt returner Stefan Logan was fined $7,500 for taunting an opponent by flipping the ball in his face. How many times do you see a returner fined?

Probably the best connection is for fans to remember that Schwartz was the defensive coordinator in Tennessee when Albert Haynesworth was suspended for five games for stomping on Andre Gurode’s head.

Vikings DE Jared Allen took some shots at two of his least favorite cities this week. Allen said: “I’m not trying to be mean, but it’s just depressing when I go (to Detroit). There’s like two cities I don’t go out to eat or don’t do anything. It’s Detroit and New Orleans. New Orleans looks like I’m driving through a third-world country every time I get off the plane. I’m like, ‘Oh, flak jacket.’ I’m trying to get down. I’m like, ‘Ah, crap, I can’t carry my gun here. This sucks.’”

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