| The Detroit News
Justin Rogers, Rod Beard, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News predict the outcome of Sunday’s Vikings at Lions game (1 p.m., Fox/WJR 760).
►Justin Rogers: Long out of postseason contention, these Lions are limping to the finish line with a far more interesting future than present. But there’s no opting out of the season finale, so the Lions and Vikings will suit up on Sunday with nothing to play for but pride. Even without having to deal with Dalvin Cook, who rushed for more than 200 yards when these two teams met earlier this season, there’s little reason to believe the Lions can slow the Vikings’ passing attack, led by the lethal receiving tandem of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. Vikings 30, Lions 24
►Rod Beard: As the season closes, one would think the Lions would want to lose and maintain their draft position, but interim coach Darrell Bevell is trying to get a good look for the full-time job. Some players are fighting for contracts and to be back next year too. Injuries again are an issue and the future for Matthew Stafford remains in question. Vikings 24, Lions 19
►John Niyo: A win would do more harm than good, so every Lions fan knows what that means, right? And if Matthew Stafford manages to play from start to finish, a win that’d damage Detroit’s draft position is certainly possible. But that historically-bad defense still should come through in the end, and the Lions will start 2021 on a “positive” note. Vikings 31, Lions 28
►Bob Wojnowski: What a weird mix of emotion and motivation. Both teams are out of the playoffs, and the Vikings will be without star back Dalvin Cook. With so much unknown, this could be Matthew Stafford’s final game as a Lion, and if it is, it’d be fitting – gamely playing through injuries to the conclusion of another losing season. The thing is, the Lions might enjoy a win, but it wouldn’t be helpful. With a loss, and several other outcomes around the league, they could leap from seventh in the draft to as high as third. Minnesota – and every other team out of the playoffs – faces a similar issue, so it’s probably a non-factor in the outcome. Of course, the Lions could push it and sit Stafford, but for better or worse, interim Darrell Bevell is staying true to his task of trying to win games. Good luck, sort of. Vikings 30, Lions 20