The Detroit Lions travel to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Vikings today. Read as the Lion Lowdown writers offer their predictions for this week’s game.
Bruce Walker (@smoke25):
The Detroit Lions, with their record of 3-8-1 face off against the 8-4 Minnesota Vikings this week. The Vikings happen to be a single game out of first place in the NFC North and undefeated at home this season. The Lions, meanwhile, are on a five-game losing streak and have ridden their “…we are only concerned about this week’s game…” and “…we are working on improving each and every week…”philosophies all the way out of contention for a playoff spot.
It is like a car on the interstate where the driver say’s, “Oops! Was I supposed to take that exit back there? Well, it’s too late now! I can’t turn around and go back, I guess I have to just go to the next exit…” The problem is that the Lions next exit is next year.
Does that sound bitter? Sorry. I was aiming for disappointed.
Detroit is currently net minus 35 in the overall points scored. That is despite having an offense that ranks seventh in the NFL in yards gained and 13th in points scored. That is because their defense ranks 29th in yards allowed per game and 25th in points allowed per game.
That means that the Lions would need to at least be as good as the Vikings are on offense—currently ranked seventh at 26.6 points per game—in order to have a chance to win half their games. Ouch.
Fun fact: If you have a top-ten offense paired with a top ten defense, your chances of making it into the post season and accomplishing something once there are pretty good. The Vikings are playing for that opportunity.
That could also explain why the Lions are 13-point underdogs today.
The Lions are playing for…their pride? (Pun intended).
I expect David Blough to play decently but make mistakes today. Minnesota is a very tough road draw. He will not have the luxury of a semi-home crowd this week and it will show. I am looking forward to seeing how he handles the pressure of the crowd as well as the Vikings defense.
The Lions could use the excuse that they have too many injuries, and they do, but that is not the reason that they will be at home this winter watching the playoffs on TV. They have not been able to find a way to have their players perform at a high level on defense this year.
Why? We will leave the reason for that to another day. Instead, the Vikings will continue to make their playoff push and the Lions will remain winless in the division. They will look good—at first—but, sorry, folks. The second half will promises to be ugly.
Detroit Lions 13 — Minnesota Vikings 30
James Gullett (@gullett_ James):
The Lions started off the week with maybe their best defensive practice to date. For the first time all year, the entire Lions projected starting defensive line was all at practice. However, that did not last long as rookie fourth-round pick Austin Bryant, as well as last year’s fourth-round pick Da’Shawn Hand, both had setbacks. Hand has already been downgraded to out.
I understand every team has injuries and it is a part of the game, but the Lions have not even once been able to suit up their full team. With all that being said, the Vikings are one of the Lions few games this year in which they were clearly outplayed. With a host of players out, I don’t expect this to be a fun game to watch for Lions fans out there.
Detroit Lions 17 — Minnesota Vikings 31
Logan Lamorandier (@LLamorandier):
The Vikings have been a little hot and cold this year, but mostly hot. They have a great rushing attack and a quarterback that is playing well. The Lions defense has been a little better against the run in recent weeks, teams don’t necessarily need to though with how easy they have been to pass against.
With David Blough getting another start at quarterback for the Lions, who knows what type of performance will show up from the offense. The Vikings strong defense hasn’t been at its best this year, but I still think the Vikings will score more points… quite easily.
Detroit Lions 17 — Minnesota Vikings 31Follow here: