• Chris Anderson

Minnesota Vikings (1-3) host the Detroit Lions (0-4) Week 5

The Minnesota Vikings enter Week 5 desperately needing a win. Luckily it's that time of the year to host the lowly Detroit Lions. The Vikings enter this matchup with 7 straight wins and lead the overall series 78-39-2. Even more convenient, for the Vikings, the Lions are still in the midst of what seems like a 50-year rebuild and currently under the watch of first year Head Coach, Dan Campbell. They also come into this matchup with a slew of injuries to key pieces of the team. Coach Campbell does seem to be having this team playing much tougher than Detroit teams of the past and the Vikings should not take this game lightly. Division games are always a little odd since the teams are so familiar with each other, matching up at least twice per season. In 2020, the Vikings entered Week 6 hosting a winless Falcons team that had just fired their General Manager and Head Coach and got destroyed 23-40 after QB Cousins threw 3 first half interceptions. The way this Lions team has been playing has showed that they have a toughness to them and the Vikings can't afford to keep this game close because the Lions could sneak a win if they catch the Vikings going through the motions.


The Vikings offense will need to take it up a notch and score on a majority of their possessions, hopefully more of them resulting in touchdowns, rather than field goals. This offense has all of the weapons to do so with a strong running game headed by Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison and what should be an impressive passing game led by Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, KJ Osborn, and Tyler Conklin. The passing game will only do as well as QB Cousins will allow. He hasn't shown to play well against teams above .500, so being that the Lions haven't won yet, we should see our offense light up the scoreboard this Sunday. The Vikings defense hasn't played as poorly as some like to think, so this game should provide another week to show the fans that they can play as a strong unit. LB Anthony Barr should be able to return after missing something like 17 straight games and help solidify this defense even further. The first 4 weeks for the Vikings have resulted in the following:

  • Loss at the Bengals (24-27)

  • Loss at the Cardinals (33-34)

  • Win at home vs the Seahawks (30-17)

  • Loss at home vs the Browns (7-14)

The Lions offense has been able to put up points but haven't been able to find a win. They don't have the weapons the Vikings do. Their offense is led by former Super Bowl participant, QB Jared Goff who is very capable at putting up solid passing stats. Their running game is led by D'Andre Swift and former Packer and social media favorite, Jamaal Williams. Both running backs should see plenty of opportunities in this offense as they have in the first 4 games. There aren't really any notable wide receivers on this roster worth mentioning, but Goff does target both TE TJ Hockenson and RB Swift the most so far in terms of receiving yards. The Lions defense is even worse. As they try to figure out how to fix the horrible start due to a young, beaten up secondary, the game day results have been rough. They have provided little resistance to the QBs they have faced this season including Jimmy G, Aaron Rodgers and Justin Fields. They did hold Lamar Jackson in check, allowing the Ravens to only 19 points. Overall, the Lions defense ranks as followed:

  • 19th in yards per carry (4.4)

  • 30th in passer rating allowed (116.4)

  • 31st in % of passing plays earning 1st downs (43.6%)

  • t-31st in passing plays of 20+ yard allowed (19)

  • 32nd in yards per pass attempt allowed (10.6)

The Vikings offense has a real opportunity to make fantasy owners very happy this week. The first 4 weeks for the Vikings have resulted in the following:

  • Loss at home vs the 49ers (33-41)

  • Loss at the Packers (17-35)

  • Loss at home vs the Ravens (17-19)

  • Loss at the Bears (14-24)

The Minnesota Vikings come into this matchup as 10-point favorites and given anywhere between a 70-80% chance of winning according to a few websites that run simulations to predict outcomes. They need a statement win to show its fans, and the rest of the NFL, that the 1-3 record doesn't define who they are. If the Lions are able to keep this game close, or even pull off a road upset, it will prove that the Vikings truly are in for a long season and changes will need to be made at the end of the season or even sooner. My prediction is the Vikings come out hungry after a pathetic showing at home against the Browns last week, and win this matchup 35-13, leaving no doubt. Go Vikings!!!!


#SKOL



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