Last call for local Detroit Lions fans. The team closes out their home schedule on Sunday afternoon with home finale against their in-division rival, the Minnesota Vikings. This isn’t where the Lions were hoping to be, playing for nothing but pride while hosting a hungry Vikings team, but it is what it is.
Pride can be a strong motivator for some, and Sunday remains an opportunity for Lions players to prove they belong in the league and can still win their individual matchups against players with more external motivations.
So despite a poor matchup for the Lions, let’s try and guess who could be in a for a big game (cue all the cynics saying Sam Martin).
Which Lions player could be in for a big game vs. the Vikings?
My answer: Darius Slay.
The Lions’ now two-time Pro Bowler has been playing a lot better as of late after an up-and-down season. In the past two games alone, Slay has had six passes defended and one interception. Of course, he’s played a couple of not-so-good quarterbacks over that time, but the last time Slay faced Kirk Cousins, he had a pretty good game, as well: two passes defended and a pick.
Though I expect the Lions offense to struggle, the Lions defense could give Minnesota some problems, especially with Damon Harrison expected to play and give the Vikings running game some problems. That may leave it up to Cousins to air it out, and if he goes Slay’s way—and he didn’t hesitate to do so last game—the All Pro could make him pay.