How to Watch: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings Preview


Lions at Vikings Preview

Sunday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m.

US Bank Stadium



Lions   Vikings
4-4, 1-1, 3rd NFC North Record 5-2, 1-1, 1st NFC North
22.9, 16th Points Per Game 19.9, 23rd
23.8, 21st Points Allowed Per Game 14.9, 1st
341.1 yards per game, 21st Total Offense 293.3 yards per game, 31st
370.0 yards per game, 23rd Total Defense 297.1 yards per game, 2nd
255.6 yards per game, 16th Passing Offense 221.4 yards per game, 28th
259.4 yards per game, 18th Passing Defense 204.6 yards per game, 4th
85.5 yards per game, 27th Rushing Offense 71.9 yards per game, 31st
110.6 yards per game, 17th Rushing Defense 92.6 yards per game, 9th
+2, 11th Turnover Differential +11, 1st
18, 13th Sacks 20, 9th
19, 23rd Sacks allowed 19, 23rd
Matt Stafford, 2,154 yards, 16 TD, 4 INT, 103.4 rating Quarterback Sam Bradford, 1,442 yards, 8 TD, 1 INT, 98.2 rating
Marvin Jones, 36 catches, 656 yards, 4 TD Leading Receiver Stefon Diggs, 35 catches, 466 yards, 2 TD
Theo Riddick, 61 carries, 201 yards, 1 TD Leading Rusher Jerick McKinnon, 68 carries, 217 yards, 1 TD


Injury Report

Vikings Injury Status
Andrew Sendejo, S Ankle Questionable
Tom Johnson, DT Concussion Questionable
Sharrif Floyd, DT Knee Out
Zac Kerin, C Hand Out
Alex Boone, G Concussion Out
Jerick McKinnon, RB Ankle Questionable
Eric Kendricks, LB Concussion Out
Riley Reiff, T Illness Out
Darius Slay, CB Hamstring Questionable
Haloti Ngata, DT Shoulder Questionable
Taylor Decker, T Ribs Questionable
Adairius Barnes, CB Hamstring Questionable
Ezekiel Ansah, DE Ankle Questionable
DeAndre Levy, LB Knee Out
Theo Riddick, RB Ankle Questionable
Jonathan Bostic, LB Foot Questionable
Brandon Pettigrew, TE Knee Out


Betting Lines

Vikings (-7); Over/Under 42.

Berserker Betting Take: The Vikings have to show me something after their two-game slide before I throw money on them again. Vegas seems to be finally catching up with Minnesota, losers of its last two on the field as favorites. Given Detroit’s limited defensive capabilities, the over might be the one play I’d consider.


Primary Storylines: The question is already starting to simmer on Vikings Twitter—is this a must-win for Minnesota? Losers of two straight the Vikings can ill afford a third straight loss not to mention in the division and at home at US Bank Stadium. Certainly in the grand scheme of things this isn’t a literal must-win game with half of the schedule still yet to be played. But Sunday will mark four weeks since the Vikings last won a game, so from a psyche standpoint, this one is large.

For the first time Vikings fans officially get to see new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s version of the offense. Tempered expectations is probably best here, considering the current state of the offensive line and given the fact Shurmur only came into this role on Wednesday. However, a spotty Lions defense could help the Vikings offense get rolling in the right direction once again.


Key Matchup: Anthony Barr and the Minnesota linebackers vs. Theo Riddick. With Eric Kendricks out for Sunday’s game, the Vikings are going to need a big-time effort from Barr and company. Riddick is second on the team with 34 catches, tied for the team-lead with four touchdowns. Stafford has done a good job of spreading things around in the absence of Calvin Johnson and Riddick has been one of the biggest beneficiaries. Chad Greenway isn’t a viable option in coverage, so I’m expecting a lot from Barr, who to this point in the season, has been underwhelming. Pro Football Focus has given Barr a 43.8 grade overall, 71st among linebackers. He has struggled in coverage, netting just a 42.2 grade. Riddick on the other hand is the 11th-highest graded tailback, according to PFF with a 75.2 rating. However, Riddick’s receiving grade is even higher at 82.6, which is the seventh-best in the NFL.


Why I’m nervous: Did you watch the last two games? Have you been a Vikings fan for an extended period of time? If you answered yes to the last two questions then there is no need for me to go on any further.

Matt Stafford is playing like an MVP, employing the short-passing attack to get things done. Theo Riddick is a big-time threat out of the backfield and there are plenty of talented receivers on the outside for Detroit to call upon.


Why I’m overly confident: This might mark a season-low on the confidence meter for the Berserker Viking. It has been a long time since we’ve had something to cheer about. However, Minnesota is back home at US Bank Stadium where its offense seems to play a helluva lot better. I doubt the defense will put up two stinkers in a row and I’m confident with Shurmur’s influence, we will see more schemes that resemble what the Vikings ran in Weeks 2-5 when they stormed out of the gates to a 5-0 start.


Berserker Prediction: The offense isn’t going to change overnight with Shurmur now at the helm. The Vikings’ problem is they can’t protect even against just a four-man front. But I think at home with the crowd behind them and a pissed off defense they get the job done, 23-17.

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