The Detroit Lions offense has its work cut out for them. The Minnesota Vikings defense is just starting to get its feet, and the Lions have really struggled to get the ball moving against their NFC North foe. Since 2014, the Lions have averaged just 17.9 points per game against the Vikes.
Of course, unlike those past eight games, the Lions will be without Golden Tate this year. However, Detroit will have a couple things they didn’t have during those past four years: a competent offensive line and a running game.
Will the Lions offense look any different than it has in the previous seven games without their leading receiver? Will anyone on defense finally step up and make some game-changing plays?
Today’s Question of the Day is:
Which Lions player could have a big game vs. the Vikings?
My answer: Theo Riddick.
Riddick is finally off the injury report, having participated fully on Friday and not given a gameday designation. I’m not one that thinks Riddick will suddenly take over in the slot. It happens on occasion, but putting him there full-time will only decrease his value to the team.
However, the Vikings linebacking corps has struggled this year, and they’ll be without Anthony Barr this week. I think there’s a good chance we see an uptick in two running back sets in the backfield, and that could make Riddick a very dangerous weapon. Obviously, Kerryon Johnson has proven to be an efficient runner, and one that will require a fair amount of attention from this Vikings defense. That could open up the possibility of Riddick slipping out of the backfield and doing what he does best: embarrass linebackers in coverage.
Riddick only has 23 catches for 138 yards in five games played, so this is a bit of a risky pick, but I think there’s a marginal chance we see him nearly double his receiving yardage output in this game alone.