Week 14 of NFL football continues as the Detroit Lions travel to U.S. Bank Stadium to take on the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 1:00 P.M. These two teams have not met since week seven when the Vikings beat the Lions on the road by the score of 42-30.
Lions Look To Snap Losing StreakMatt Patricia has the Lions in terrible form headed into this game. The Lions have a 3-8-1 record which is bad enough to have them in last place in the NFC North division. To make matters worse, the Lions have lost each of their last five games with all of those games being decided by eight points or less. Most of Detroit's struggles have been due to injuries to several key players on its roster all season long which has crippled the active roster. Now, Detroit has virtually nothing to play for besides pride so one has to wonder just how hard this team will play moving forward.
Leading the Lions offensively is quarterback David Blough who has barely any NFL experience. Through just one game, he has 280 passing yards along with two passing touchdowns. The only reason why he is getting playing time is due to injuries to quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Jeff Driskel. Either way, Blough will look to make the most of his opportunity moving forward.
Defensively, Detroit has been awful up to this point. The Lions are allowing 26.2 points per game which ranks 25th in the entire league. In addition, the Lions are allowing 398.1 yards per game which ranks 29th in the league. Now, Detroit will look to use the added preparation time to put together a good defensive gameplan for Sunday.
Vikings Look To Inch Closer To PlayoffsMinnesota enters this game with an 8-4 record as it has looked like a solid team in the NFC all season long. However, the Vikings were unable to get a victory last week against the Seahawks as they eventually lost on Monday Night Football by the score of 37-30. As a result, Minnesota is still in possession of a Wild Card spot in the NFC but it remains one game behind Green Bay for first place in the NFC North. Now, the Vikings will need to win a few more games this season if they plan on clinching a playoff spot and winning a home game against a below-average opponent is a good place to start.
Leading the Vikings offensively is running back Dalvin Cook who has been great this season with 1,046 yards along with 12 rushing touchdowns. In addition, Cook also has 490 receiving yards so he has been extremely useful in a variety of ways. However, he is currently suffering from a chest injury so he is not guaranteed to play on Sunday.
Defensively, Minnesota has been pretty good up to this point. The Vikings are allowing 20.2 points per game which ranks 11th in the entire league. In addition, the Vikings are allowing 347.4 yards per game which ranks 16th in the league. However, Minnesota's defense gave up 37 points last week to Seattle so it will need to play a lot better at home in this game.
Update (12/6): According to ProFootballTalk.com and ESPN.com, Cook will play this week. Cook played less than half of the snaps on Monday night due to the injury.
“I don’t think this thing can get any worse,” Cook said via Courtney Cronin of ESPN. “I just think us being smart about it on Monday night was the best thing for what we have going forward. That was the best thing, to shut it down on Monday night, so I can be ready to roll on Sunday.”
Trends found on Covers.com, are:
- Road team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- Vikings are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.