Minnesota Sports Briefs: Vikes' have big game in Detroit this weekendMinnesota Sports
-- The Minnesota Vikings are gearing up for Sunday's road game against the Lions.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - The Minnesota Vikings are gearing up for Sunday's road game against the Lions.
Minnesota improved to 2-1 with a 24-13 victory over the 49ers last Sunday. The Vikings have lost the last three games to Detroit dating back to 2010. Prior to the three-game losing streak, however, Minnesota had beaten Detroit 16 of the previous 17 games. The Vikings hold an all-time series lead with 66 wins, 33 losses, and two ties. Sunday's kickoff is set for noon.
Vikings receiver Percy Harvin leads the National Football League in receptions with 27 grabs in the season's first three games. That is the most catches for any Viking receiver in the first three games of a season ever The previous mark came in 1997 when Cris Carter snatched 23 balls in the season's first three contests.
Detroit fans will be able to watch the Lions take on the Vikings in a division battle at Ford Field after selling out Sunday's game. Detroit continues to get ready for Minnesota at their practice facility in Allen Park. Yesterday, quarterback Matthew Stafford was held out of drills with a hip injury, and is listed as day-to-day for this weekend. Receiver Calvin Johnson and running back Mikel Leshoure had limited participation during practice because of injuries.
After a dramatic Week Three victory over the Patriots, the Ravens welcome in the AFC North rival Cleveland Browns to Baltimore on Thursday night. The Ravens moved to 2-1 by defeating New England Sunday night. Rookie Justin Tucker nailed a 27-yard field goal as time expired to give Baltimore a 31-30 victory. Torrey Smith caught six passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns less than 24 hours after his younger brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. Cleveland fell to 0-3 after losing at home to Buffalo on Sunday, 24-14. Rookie QB Brandon Weeden tossed two fourth-quarter interceptions for the Browns, who are winless in their first three games of a season for the fifth time in seven years. Baltimore has won eight straight against Cleveland, with its last loss coming in November of 2007. The Ravens will also induct former running back Jamal Lewis into their Ring of Honor at halftime. Lewis also spent time with the Browns.
The University of Minnesota football team is looking to beat rival Iowa for the third straight season when the two teams hook up in Iowa City on Saturday. The last time Minnesota won three in a row in the series was 1998, 1999, and 2000. That 1999 Gopher victory was the last time Minnesota has won at Kinnick Stadium, site of this weekend's tilt. Minnesota holds a 61-42-2 overall lead in the series against the Hawkeyes. The "Floyd of Rosedale" trophy is on the line in this rivalry game. Saturday's game kicks off at 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2.
A familiar face and voice will be calling the action of Golden Gopher men's hockey on television this season. Long-time hockey play-by-play man Doug McLeod returns to Minnesota to take over for Anthony LaPanta as television voice of Gopher hockey on FSN. LaPanta left the position to take over TV duties for the Minnesota Wild. McLeod served as a radio and television voice of Gopher hockey for 16 seasons beginning in 1978. He left the Gophers to work television for the North Stars for six seasons. He has also called games on radio and television for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Colorado Avalanche and Phoenix Coyotes. He will team with FSN's Kevin Gorg and Casey Hankinson on 28 Gopher games this year.
The Minnesota Lynx continue preparation for the opening WNBA playoff series, which begins Friday for Minnesota. The WNBA playoff calendar begins with the conference semifinals this week. In the West, Minnesota will take on Seattle and San Antonio tackles Los Angeles. The Eastern Conference Semifinals will showcase Connecticut against New York and Atlanta against Indiana. Each series is a best-of-three. Here is the upcoming WNBA playoff schedule for the Minnesota Lynx:
Friday, September 28th - Seattle at Minnesota, 8pm (Game One)
Sunday, September 30th - Minnesota at Seattle, 8pm (Game Two)
Tuesday, October 2nd - Seattle at Minnesota, TBD (Game Three, if necessary)
The Phoenix Mercury have won the WNBA Draft Lottery and will have the top pick next year. The Chicago Sky have the second pick, while the Tulsa Shock and Washington Mystics have the third and fourth selections, respectively. The Mercury had the second-worst record in the league this season at 7-27 and had a 28-percent chance at landing the top pick. Washington was the only other team with a higher percentage after going 5-29. Phoenix has had the top pick two other times in 2004 and 2007. Baylor's Brittney Griner is expected to be the top pick and highlights a very deep draft that includes Delaware's Elena Delle Donne and Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins. The Lynx draft position will be determined by how the team does in the postseason.