Five things to watch: Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

Detroit News

The Detroit Lions will play their third straight home game against a Vikings team that’s looking to become the first team to clinch its division this season.

This is a huge game, Not just for the Vikings, but for the Lions as well. After this game, they have a lot of winnable games down the stretch. If they can win this game, we can start seriously talking playoffs. If not, it’s hard to see this team doing much from 5-8. They’d have to win out and get a lot of help.

With that being said, here are five things to watch for this game.

The return of Hock

T.J. Hockenson will play his first game against the Lions since being traded to Minnesota last month. He has 40 catches for 225 yards and a score since the trade. The Lions have gotten some decent production out of their tight ends since the trade, as Brock Wright and James Mitchell have been solid. It’ll be interesting to see what the crowd reaction is when Hockenson takes the field.

Containing Justin Jefferson

When these two teams squared off in week 3, Justin Jefferson was held to two catches for 14 yards. Jeff Okudah did an outstanding job on him. Can he do it again? Jefferson has been the best overall receiver in the NFL this year. One could argue the reason the Lions led in that game for so long was because they held him in check. Doing it again will be key.

More snaps for Jamo

Rookie WR Jameson Williams is set for a larger role this week. We saw how the good the Lions offense was last week when he was virtually nonexistent. The Vikings have the worst pass defense in the league (the Lions rank 27th, for context), so Ben Johnson will likely have plenty of opportunities to get Williams involved. This could end up being a high-scoring game, so the Lions will need to keep doing what they’re doing.

Wait … they’re favored?

Yes, you read that right. The 5-7 Lions are favored (-1.5) over the 10-2 Vikings in this game. Surely part of it comes from the fact the Lions just destroyed the Jaguars. They’ve also won four out of their last five games. But, so have the Vikings. Vegas works in mysterious ways.

Forgetting about week 3

Speaking of that week 3 game, the Lions need to put that game in the rear view mirror. It was a heartbreaking loss, especially after having control of that game for so long. Dan Campbell said as much: they have to move past it. That’s in the past, there’s nothing they can do now but learn from it and move on. This team has grown a lot since that game. They’re starting to learn how to finish games, which was a major problem early in the year. This is a different game. They’ll have their own fans behind them. They need to focus on the task at hand.

Matthew Scheidel is a freelance writer.

Articles You May Like

This Lions season projection is a thorn in the positivity paw
Brian Branch among 3 defensive vets placed on PUP list to start Lions training camp
NFL Analyst suggests the Lions should trade a day 2 pick and more for All Pro defensive lineman, suggests two other trade options
The Lions have upgraded the training camp experience for fans
Five bold predictions for the NFC North in 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *