How’s everyone feeling right about now? You still mad? Well, I suppose it’s time to get over it because the Lions have a game on Sunday and it’s against a divisional rival. It’s actually against the one team most Lions fans don’t have a problem with. I actually like Vikings fans a lot. They’re nice people, and I love the city of Minneapolis so much that I put in for the December 8 away game assignment.
One of the Vikings people I like the most is Ted Glover from The Daily Norseman. We asked Theodore to answer some questions for this week, and he jumped right out of his ice shanty and ran to a computer to help us. We’ll get to his knowledge in a moment, but first we need to talk about what I know about the Vikings.
As always, it’s not much. All I really know is that they’re still having trouble getting over that 1999 NFC Championship game.
I also know that the Vikings have generally owned the Lions like no other team in the division. The Lions are 39-74-2 all time against the Vikings. Ouch. They’ve also lost the last three games against them, too. Lastly, the Lions haven’t beaten the Vikings at home since 2016. Ouch again. Let’s see what Ted has to say.
So what’s up with this team? Out of all the NFC North teams they’re the team I can’t figure out. Who are they?
“That’s a good question, my friend. In the four wins, they’ve been Dr. Jekyll. In the two losses, they’ve been Mr. Hyde. I think something happened inside the Vikings locker room after that miserable loss to the Bears, though, because in the two games since they’ve been firing on all cylinders. Yeah, you can rightfully say it was the Giants and injury-riddled Eagles, but the Vikes played two very complete games. If they can minimize turnovers and stay balanced on offense, they’re a really good football team.”
What worries you about the Lions?
“On offense, Matthew Stafford and his ability to keep a play alive and get the ball out to his receivers. I really thought Detroit made a mistake trading Golden Tate last year, but Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and T.J. Hockenson match up about as well as any receiving corps the Vikings secondary will face this year. On defense, the Lions defensive line will bring pressure all day long, and the Vikings o-line has been an Achilles Heel at times for the offense. That’s going to be the key matchup, and whoever wins that battle will go a long way in winning the game.”
Which player will Kirk Cousins get fired this week?
“If we could get Matt Stafford to turn in his key card to the Lions facility by Thursday, that would be great.”
What the Vikings biggest weakness and how can the Lions exploit it?
“If you take away the VIkings ability to run the ball, they become vulnerable and seem to turn the ball over more. It seems weird to say that when Kirk Cousins has thrown back-to-back 300 yard games, and he has guys like Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs to throw to. But in the loss to the Bears, Dalvin Cook could not get going, and that caused the Vikes to press. That led to turnovers, and the game was over. Against Green Bay, the Vikes were down 21-0 early, and had to pass more than they wanted to. They had more success, but still had trouble moving the ball consistently.
On defense, if the Lions can protect Matt Stafford, he’ll complete a lot of passes and gain some yards. The big question, though, is can they score a TD in the red zone? The Vikings defense has been really stout in that area, only giving up seven touchdowns in 14 attempts. That said, the Lions have the offensive weapons, I think, to be able to score, so it’s going to be a challenge for the Vikes, especially on the road.”
Who’s winning this thing?
“I really think the Vikings have found a groove, and I like it to continue. The Lions defense is near the bottom in both rushing and passing yards, and the Vikes can hurt you both ways. OC Kevin Stefanski has called two really good games in a row, and opposing defenses have had a hard time stopping the Vikes. As well as the Lions skill guys match up with Minnesota’s secondary, I think the Vikes defensive line is a tough matchup for the Lions, and the pressure they generate will force the Lions to kick more field goals as opposed to getting in the end zone, and I think that makes the difference.”