The Detroit Lions can achieve their first ten-win season since 2011, and just the ninth double-digit season win total since the team moved to Detroit in 1934, with a win over the Minnesota Vikings today.
The Lions took care of the Vikings in Minneapolis in week six with a 17-3 win in Minneapolis. Will they repeat the effort to avoid a letdown? The SideLion Report staff chimes in with what they see for the game ahead.
The Viking Age
Alex Reno – The Vikings have won their last two games, and four of their last seven since losing to the Lions in their first meeting. Teddy Bridgewater has looked much better at quarterback, but I wouldn’t bet on him staying on his feet for much of the game against the Lions’ front-seven.
Detroit has too much to play for and will need this win if they want to keep their hopes of winning the NFC North alive. A loss to Minnesota could even knock them out of the playoffs if they were to lose another game. I think the Lions will come out swinging early, then give up a couple of garbage-time touchdowns. In the end, the Leos win the game by a score of 24-17.
Kent Platte – The Lions come into week 15 undefeated in their division. They should leave the week the same. The Vikings offense stands no real chance against the Free Hurt Defense, especially Matt Kalil. Kalil has struggled mightily this season, with his worst week coming against the Lions Ziggy Ansah.
The Lions offense faces a tougher struggle against the Vikings defense. With Brian Robison and Xavier Rhodes emerging as real defensive threats, the only thing working in the Lions favor is the injuries the Vikes have sustained lately. Without a healthy pass rush, the suddenly rolling Lions offense should keep rolling against the Vikes. I’m expecting their third consecutive 34-17 game in a win for the Lions.
With the First Pick
Zac Snyder – The Detroit Lions defense smothered and overwhelmed the Vikings offense in their first meeting to the point that they could come up short of that performance this week and still come out looking good. Teddy Bridgewater has much more experience under his belt than he did back in October and Matt Kalil‘s failures against Ziggy Ansah were his low-water mark.
The good news is that even if the defense takes a step back from their first meeting with the Vikings, the offensive effort should be at least two steps forward compared to what they did in Minneapolis. The 255 total yards remains the Lions’ lowest offensive output of the season and confidence is high after the way the offense has played the last two weeks. Lions 20, Vikings 10
Max DeMara – The Vikings played the Lions closer than many people expected last time, but the 17-3 score was a bit misleading considering the number of points Detroit left on the field. This time, that won’t be the case. The defensive line dominates again, and the Lions put a bigger beating on Minnesota. Detroit 33, Minnesota 10
Braden Shackelford – Minnesota is probably the best coached team that the Lions have seen in the last three weeks, but they will be without some of their top talents. Also, the Lions defense owned the Vikings offense last time around to the tune of eight sacks and only three points allowed. No reason to think it will be different this time around. Lions win, 27-13.
Darin Ackerman – This week’s match up between the Lions and the Vikings should hopefully prove to be a relatively easy “W” for Detroit. The Lions handily beat the Vikings in Week 3, with a score of 17-3.
Granted some has changed in the last 12 weeks. Rookie Teddy Bridgewater is appearing to hit his stride as the QB for Minnesota in their last two games. However, his lack of reliable targets, combined with the pressure from the Lions defense, will make it hard to accomplish much on offense this game.
Though the Vikings Defense has been stingy, it will also be the first time they have to contain Calvin Johnson this season. With Stafford connecting well with Megatron, Bell, Tate, and hopefully Bush if he’s healthy, the Vikings defense will struggle to contain the Lions. Prediction: Lions 24, Vikings 10
What about you? Leave your prediction in the comments section below.
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