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Hayden Goethe, Published September 20 2009

Goethe column: Vikings try to avoid infamous loss to Lions today

In representing the Motor City, the Detroit Lions have been more Edsel than Explorer.

While driving back from the Twin Cities last weekend, I heard an NFL analyst on the radio say a team’s game was a must-win game, and that was in the first week of the season.

There are no must-win games this time of year.

Well … maybe there’s one.

The Minnesota Vikings face the Detroit Lions at noon today. Despite it being just their second game of the season, the Vikings can ill afford to lose this one. Because no team wants to be the first to lose to Detroit.

These aren’t your dad’s Detroit Lions. Heck, these Lions are like no Lions that have come before them.

Detroit is riding an 18-game losing streak, which dates back to 2007. The Lions lost every game last season, marking the first time in NFL history a team went winless since the league went to a 16-game schedule.

Gone are the days of Bobby Layne. The days of Barry Sanders and Wayne Fontes are gone too.

The Lions enter today’s game with a rookie quarterback making just his second NFL start, and besides all-world receiver Calvin Johnson, there’s few names on this team familiar to the average fan.

Chances are the Lions aren’t going to rattle off a second straight winless campaign, which means some team will likely lose to them this season.

This is the challenge Minnesota faces today. The Vikings – boasting a strong running game and equally strong defense – have big postseason hopes after the acquisition of quarterback Brett Favre during the preseason.

But a loss to Detroit’s lemon of a football team could derail Minnesota from its road to the Super Bowl.

Readers can reach Forum Assistant Sports Editor

Hayden Goethe at (701) 241-5558

or hgoethe@forumcomm.com