Vikings vs Lions : The Minnesota Vikings host the Detroit Lions in a NFC North divisional matchup. Both teams are coming off a loss, so both are hungry for a win. It would be real nice if the Vikings can get a win considering Minnesota’s Last week, the big news for the Lions was how they would fold defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison into the mix after a trade with the New York Giants.
The Minnesota Vikings host the Detroit Lions in a NFC North divisional matchup. Both teams are coming off a loss, so both are hungry for a win. It would be real nice if the Vikings can get a win considering Minnesota’s bye is next week.
Stefon Diggs is dealing with a rib injury and is listed as questionable moving into Sunday. Chad Beebe was called up from the practice squad, so that could be a sign that Diggs doesn’t play. It could also mean Beebe will just be used as a special teams guy.
If that’s the case and Diggs doesn’t play, then I would assume Thielen would be double covered throughout most of the game. If he is double teamed, then I would think Laquon Treadwell will get some more targets, as well as Aldrick Robinson. Obviously Robinson is kind of a deep-threat, touchdown target. Robinson has five receptions for 95 yards and three touchdowns.
Treadwell has seemed to improve over the past few weeks. He caught all four of his targets against Arizona and all three against the Jets. Last week he caught thee of five targets against the Saints. This season he’s recorded 46 catches for 431 yards and one touchdown.
With Roc Thomas and Dalvin Cook both out, that leaves Latavius Murray to take over a majority of the workload. Mike Boone will be a solid backup for Murray when he needs relief. Boone has rushed for 47 yards off 11 carries in the six games he’s participated in this season. If you watched the preseason, you know that he was pretty productive.
Murray will hopefully continue to stay consistent. The past three games he’s had 52 carries for 280 yards and four rushing touchdowns. My thought is Boone will have 6 rushes for 30 yards. I think he’ll be beneficial in the passing game, only a few catches though, nothing too crazy.
Let’s say the Vikings do lose this game. The Vikes will be 4-4-1, will Zimmer be on the hot seat? Should he be? I think he’s going to address issues after the game if that is the case, as in he may blame himself.
I believe the management wouldn’t fire Zimmer, but anything can happen. Could George Edwards be on the hot seat if the Lions put up more than 30 points? I might overthink things, but as a fan I’m getting sick of mediocrity. Hold people accountable (not saying it’s either of their faults).
I get Minnesota have had injuries with some key players, but there shouldn’t be excuses. There’s a 53-man roster for a reason, and if the backups can’t get the job done then maybe they should find different backups
The Minnesota Vikings are hoping to be healthier at the running back position for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.
The Vikings have been without Cook the past four games and he has appeared in just three games on the season, totaling 98 yards rushing on 36 carries and 107 yards receiving on nine catches.
Cook, if healthy, would provide an explosive component out of the backfield that has been missing during his absence. While it remains to be seen how much work Cook would get Sunday should he play, the Vikings could elect to ease in Cook alongside Latavius Murray, who has carried the load while Cook was out.
Kerryon Johnson might be the Lions’ MVP at this point of the season as he has forced defenses to respect a previously dormant running game. Johnson has two 100-yard rushing days on the year, and he has a knack for making the first tackler miss. Four of his 77 carries have gone for negative yards.
LeGarrette Blount has settled into the big-back role for a Lions team that wants to run the ball 25-plus times a game. The Lions haven’t always run it well this year, but they’ve been effective with the carries they’ve had and are currently tied for eighth in the league at 4.7 yards per carry.
The Vikings have the NFL’s fifth-ranked rush defense (91.8 ypg), but they won’t have linebacker Anthony Barr on Sunday. Linval Joseph is one of the league’s better nose tackles, and Sheldon Richardson has been better than advertised after signing with the Vikings as a free agent in the spring.
The Vikings have one of the most physical defenses in the NFL, and Matthew Stafford has historically taken a pounding when he has played Minnesota. Stafford practiced all week with a glove on his non-throwing hand after injuring his left pinky against the Seahawks, but the injury should not be an issue Sunday.
What will, is the Lions are playing their first game without slot receiver Golden Tate, who was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday. Look for some combination of TJ Jones and Brandon Powell to take Tate’s snaps, though Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay remain the Lions’ top receivers and should get the bulk of the targets from Stafford.
Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter (eight sacks) give the Vikings one of the best edge-rushing combos in the NFL, and both have given Lions tackles Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner fits in the past. Harrison Smith is excellent at disguising his coverage at safety, while the Vikings hope to have top cornerback Xavier Rhodes back in the lineup after missing last week’s game against the Saints with a foot injury.
The Vikings have struggled to run the ball at times this year in part because top running back Dalvin Cook has missed five games with a hamstring injury. Cook was a limited participant in practice this week, and if he returns for the first time since Sept. 27, he’ll give the Vikings a big-play threat in their backfield.
Latavius Murray has shouldered much of the rushing load in Cook’s absence. He has averaging 4.7 yards per carry, but has topped 70 yards just once, in a Week 6 win over the Arizona Cardinals. The Vikings are a much better team when they run the football, so look for them to feed Cook and/or Murray early Sunday, even though they’ll be without left guard Tom Compton.
The Lions have the worst rushing defense in the NFL at 144.6 yards per game, but new addition Damon Harrison showed how impactful he can be with seven tackles, including two for loss, last week against the Seahawks. Harrison is a load for centers to handle, and he should make life easier for middle linebacker Jarrad Davis. But the Lions have given up far too many big plays on the ground this year.