5 bold predictions for the Detroit Lions vs. Vikings in Week 14
4. Vikings running back Dalvin Cook held to under 50 rushing yards
Cook has been noticeably less effective at times this season, continuing a trend cited by ESPN analytics guy Seth Walder (subscription required, h/t to Heavy for the quote).
"Over the past three seasons, Cook’s rush yards over expectation — a Next Gen Stats metric that estimates the mean rush yards a runner should average based on the location and speed of every player at the time of handoff — have dropped from plus-250 in 2020 to plus-81 in 2021 to minus-5 this year,” Cook has rushed for less than what was expected of him."
What’s more, here’s what some opposing lead backs have done against the Lions lately.
Aaron Jones, Week 9: nine carries for 25 yards; two catches for 20 yards
David Montgomery, Week 10: nine carries for 37 yards; one catch for seven yards (Khalil Herbert: 10 carries for 57 yards)
Saquon Barkley, Week 11: 15 carries for 22 yards; two catches for 13 yards
Travis Etienne, Week 13: 13 carries for 54 yards; three catches for 12 yards
Cook had 17 carries for 96 yards against the Lions back in Week 3. But he’s been held under 50 yards on the ground in two of his last five games, and it not for an 81-yard touchdown run against Buffalo in Week 10 there’s a good chance it’d be three of five.
3. DJ Chark goes for over 100 yards with a touchdown
Chark is healthy after an ankle injury cost him several games, and he’s coming off his best game of the season in Week 13 (five catches for 98 yards). He had a touchdown in Week 12.
Pro Football Focus data points to favorable matchups for Chark this week against Vikings cornerbacks Cameron Dantzler and Chandon Sullivan when he lines up wide-right or in the slot. He has lined up in those to spots for a total of 53.3 percent of his snaps over the last two games, according to PFF.
Chark is in a smash-spot against the Vikings. Going bold to predict triple-digit yardage and score for him on Sunday.