Lions Look to Play Spoiler Versus Vikings

Well, with the Lions being eliminated from the playoffs it’s hard to get excited for these last two weeks. But who doesn’t like playing spoiler? The (5-9) Detroit Lions will look to stop the (7-6-1) Minnesota Vikings from making the playoffs. The Vikings currently hold the 6th and final wildcard spot for the NFC. Detroit may not be playing for anything, but there should always be motivation to beat a division rival. Both teams have underperformed this season and will look to get things back on track. Minnesota is coming off a dominant victory over the Dolphins, whereas Detroit is coming off of an embarrassing loss to the Bills. The Lions look to right the ship in their final home game of the season.

There have been a lot of talks since the Buffalo loss about possibly shutting down Matthew Stafford for the last two games. Honestly, it’s probably not a bad idea. There is no sense in risking Stafford’s health considering the circumstances. The Lions already made that call for running back Kerryon Johnson. As good of a season as Kerryon is having, shutting him down is the right call. Second-year receiver Kenny Golladay will look to build off his career game against the Bills. Which could be a tall feat considering he could be shadowed Viking’s defensive back Xavier Rhodes. The key to Golladay’s success last week was lining up in the slot. I will be curious to see if offensive coordinator, Jim Bob Cooter will take this into consideration.

Detroit’s defense is going to have a tough time stopping all of the Vikings skill players this week. The Vikings fired their offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo, prior to last week’s win. But it looks to be the right call as the Vikings put up over forty points last week. The Lions defense will have to be on top of their game to stop this high powered offense. Detroit has had one of the top run defenses in the entire NFL over the past few weeks. So I will look for Damon ”Snacks” Harrison to stuff the run and slow down Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. A bigger problem might be trying to stop Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Both of these guys are having great seasons and the Lions secondary has been skeptical at best.

Detroit opened up this week as a 4.5 point underdog at home. That number has increased and they are now a six-point underdog. I don’t see how the Lions can pull out the victory with all the injuries they have right now. This team is not healthy and I am assuming the locker room morale is pretty low. I know there are fans out there that would rather lose and get a better draft pick, but I would take the win any day of the week. I’m sure Matt Patricia would rather have this team end the season on a two-game winning streak against two division rivals.

Mike’s fun fact of the day: Detroit only had one player voted into the Pro Bowl. Cornerback Darius Slay was selected to the Pro Bowl for the second straight season.

Until next time, One Pride

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