Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings Week 9 Preview

Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings Week 9 Preview

Every week Lions Barroom contributors congregate and share their thoughts on the upcoming Detroit Lions game and forecast an outcome. 

FUNDAMENTALS: 

Opponent: Minnesota Vikings

When: Sunday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m.

Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.

Television: Fox 2 Detroit

Radio: WJR-AM 760

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WHAT’S ON THE LINE:

The first win in 2016 against an NFC North rival!

The Lions are 0-2 in the division with losses to Chicago and Green Bay, so Detroit is in dire need of a win this week against Minnesota. The Vikings have lost two straight games. The first was against a strong Philadelphia Eagles team and the second versus a weak Chicago Bears squad. Head coach Mike Zimmer will have his defense ready to eat raw meat. His offense might sport a different look because the Vikings have parted ways with offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Both teams are desperate for a win. A road win for the Lions bounced them back into the playoff picture and delivers a staggering blow to the current division leading Vikings. Both teams should be ready for a showdown come Sunday.

WATCH FOR…

  1. Von Lozon @von_lozon:  Surge by the Lions defensive line. Minnesota’s offensive line may be the worst in the NFL. The Vikings cannot keep Sam Bradford clean in the pocket long enough to make big plays. I think the Lions’ defensive line will harass Bradford a fair amount on Sunday. That makes the defensive line the biggest key to a potential Lions win. The Chicago Bears offered Jim Bob Cooter a blueprint for attacking the Vikings formidable defense. Now the defense needs to step up. And it starts in the trenches. If the Lions defensive line can force Bradford to make errant throws, force turnovers and that could bee the difference between winning and losing.
  1. Kyle Mallett: Matthew Stafford. After leading the Lions to three straight come-from-behind wins at home, Stafford fell off track last Sunday in Houston. Granted, the defense didn’t help with an untimely collapse verse the run in the 4th quarter, but the offense couldn’t move the ball or sustain drives. The defense might get a break because they face a struggling Vikings offense. So, if the Lions need an MVP performance from their MVP… Matthew Stafford.
  1. Kent Platte: Receiving groupings. The return of Eric Ebron and Theo Riddick basically made them expendable against Houston cornerbacks last weekend. The Vikings are a little better covering inside guys, so maybe the receivers have a bounce back game of their own in store for them.
  1. Nick Kostora: Time of possession. This game should exemplify the old adage about winning time of possession leading to winning the game. Minnesota’s defense is among the best in football and Detroit cannot afford to have short drives and turnovers on the offensive side. Minnesota’s offense is proving anemic, and Sam Bradford has crashed back to Earth due to a makeshift offensive line and mediocre rushing game. Still, time of possession is everything, and Detroit’s defense isn’t striking fear into the hearts of anyone.
  1. Kevin Remenap: Lions’ offense vs. Vikings’ defense. The Lions’ offense beat up some mediocre defenses over their three-game winning streak, but struggled against Houston. Can the offensive line keep Stafford clean? If he has time, can Stafford get the ball out to his receivers? Can those receivers actually catch the ball this week after failing last week? Is there any hope of running the ball? There are so many questions, even with an above-average-to-great Stafford leading the charge.
  1. Michael Berson: Johnathan Banks. Just before Tuesday’s trade deadline General Manager Bob Quinn dealt a 2018 seventh-round draft pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for cornerback Johnthan Banks. He could be beneficial until Darius Slay — his former teammate at Mississippi State — comes back from injury. Scouts loved Banks talent and length and then he suffered a knee injury in 2015 and has had a tough time getting back on the field. The Lions pass defense has allowed more passing touchdowns than any other NFL team with 19. If Banks can start to work his way back to the caliber of play he had in his first two seasons this could be a great trade.

[graphiq id=”b0WDzWi8XCB” title=”NFC North: Touchdowns Scored & Allowed” width=”600″ height=”494″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/b0WDzWi8XCB” link=”http://nfl-teams.pointafter.com” link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

Predictions:

Von Lozon (4-4): This seems to be another game where the Lions have a glimmer of hope after what happened on Monday night to Minnesota last week. Minnesota’s offense ranks in the bottom ten of basically every category, perhaps the Lions defense can get a boost playing against Bradford and his putrid offensive line. However, the Lions inconsistent play makes them a dubious pick in the road. At the end of the day, the Lions fall to 0-3 in the division. Vikings 24, Lions 14

Kyle Mallett (3-5): This may be the most defining game of the season for the Lions. The Vikings are coming off a bad loss to the Bears on Monday night and are showing sign of an eminent collapse. As always, my heart and head speak differently to me when it comes to the Lions. This time, my heart has done a better job convincing me the Lions will pull off the upset. Lions 28, Vikings 20

Kent Platte (3-5): The Vikings are hobbled, have a terrible offensive line, a weak quarterback, their offensive coordinator just retired and live solely by a stout defense. This is a game the Lions should thrive in, but I’m predicting a loss anyways. All the other “should win” games — Chicago, Tennessee and Houston — simply turned into bounce back games for the quarterbacks. Vikings 17, Lions 16

Nick Kostora (2-6): My record tells you everything you need to know about my predictions. I think I’ve predicted the proper number of Lions’ wins and losses so far this year. I just can’t ever pick the right opponents for each to occur. With that out of the way, give me the Lions to go on the road and earn a win. Minnesota is out of sorts and the offense is trending in the wrong direction. Stafford should find just enough windows in the secondary (particularly picking on Trae Waynes) to get Detroit over the top. Lions 20, Vikings 14

Kevin Remenap (3-5): The Vikings’ offense is a mess right now, but so is the Lions’ defense. Going the opposite way, the Vikings’ defense is the cream of the crop in the NFC this year. I just don’t think the Lions can muster enough scoring to win, especially on the road. Vikings 17, Lions 10

Michael Berson (3-5): The Vikings offense isn’t amazing, but the Lions’ defense is terrible, so it could be close if Detroit doesn’t get it together defensively. As long as Matthew Stafford and the boys don’t turn the ball over, especially for points the other way, the Lions should be able to get the job done and hand the Vikings their third straight loss. Lions 21, Vikings 17

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Bob QuinnJonathan BanksSam Bradford

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