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swede700

Week 7: VIKINGS (4-2) at Lions (2-2-1)

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The Lions aren't better than their record. They're a .500 quality team (14th in DVOA, +1 point differential), and they have a .500 record. 

They're pretty good though, comparable to other teams with similar numbers (Eagles, Cowboys, Rams all at .500, Texans and Rams within 1% DVOA, Chargers, Colts and Rams within a point or 2 of PD). 

They probably deserved to beat GB (the penalties were a joke, and they gifted them a TD on the too-many-men call on the FG, but then the Lions stalled repeatedly in the red zone and benefitted from a lucky drop by Jones in the end zone and a gift INT at the goal line tipped up by the Packers WR). 

On the other hand, they deserved to lose to the Cards in week one (AZ dropped an INT late in OT that would've given them a chip shot FG to win) and the Chargers missed 2 short FGs in the 4Q in a game Detroit won by 3. 

Every one of Detroit's games this year has been decided by 4 points or less. They're not super talented but they're generally well coached. They've got a solid scheme on defense. They cover well and they tackle hard. Their OL is decent and Stafford has been taking shots throwing downfield.

Their defense could do OK against the Vikings run scheme. They bottled up the Rams last year (a game plan Belichick stole for the Super Bowl), playing a 6-1 front -- almost a goal line defense alignment that made it hard for the zone blocking scheme. The Vikings tend to use more TEs than LA does so maybe they could win a numbers game and still get to the edge, but they'll probably have trouble running inside. If they do force 3rd and long, Detroit's usual plan is to rush 3 and play coverage, which could work well against the Vikings as they can double both of the good receivers and make Cousins beat them with Bisi Johnson or a TE. The Lions weakness on defense is that their LBs are slow, so a game plan of screens to Cook, flare outs to Irv and shallow crossers to Diggs or Thielen is probably the best approach. And running wide if they can get outside. 

Detroit's offense isn't fantastic but they'll very likely be able to string together a few drives and put up a couple explosive plays. Pass protection hasn't been great, so Griffen and Hunter could have a big effect, and Zimmer has had a lot of luck blitzing Stafford on 3rd downs. They're also dedicated to the run game even when it isn't working, so if the Vikings DTs and LBs can bottle up Kerryon Johnson, Stafford might be asked to win the game by himself. The Lions WRs are pretty good but the Vikings should be able to hold up in coverage. 

I think it'll be fairly close either way. The Vikings are a better team but I doubt it'll feel like a comfortable win if they do come out ahead.

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This is an away game against a team that plays us tough every year. The Lions are not bums either they have an underrated defense, Stafford is playing the best ball of his career as well. I think this will not be an easy win for us in no shape or way.

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I hope the last two weeks have woken up our playcallers. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen need the rock in their hands. You get those two involved we can win any game. I still think cook should be the main feature, but we have two ELITE receivers that can literally do everything on the field. Let’s not forget about diggs and thielen! If they double up on Diggs, thielen should be open and vice versa. And actually, diggs and thielen can even beat double coverage if need be! 

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A quick glance at team defensive rankings shows the Lions are near the bottom in a few major categories.

Detroit ranks 29th in total yards allowed per game (413.8), 28th in passing yards allowed per game (280.0) and 27th in rushing yards allowed per game (133.8). The Lions are also tied for 27th with 10 sacks, and have just three interceptions, which is tied for the fourth-fewest in the NFL.

The Lions are an aggressive bunch when the opposing offense has the ball, featuring a league-high nine players with at least one forced fumble.

https://www.vikings.com/news/vikings-offense-wants-to-keep-recent-rhythm-going-in-motown

Edited by vike daddy

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7 hours ago, vike daddy said:

Vikings Top Ten games vs the Lions, including a 1969 outdoor slopfest!

https://www.vikings.com/news/nfl-100-series-top-10-vikings-moments-against-lions

 

@Uncle Buck
@Virginia Viking

Oh man!  The word "slopfest" fits that game about as perfectly as possible.  I can't even imagine playing in worse conditions than that.  First, they are rolling around in the mud, and then they have snow to top it off.  That's about as brutally cold as it could get to play a football game in.  What a home-field advantage we had in those days!

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This video shows what will probably always be my favorite Vikings play against the Lions.  I've told the story before so I won't bore you again with it.  I'll just let it suffice to say that the play at the 0:35 second mark happened right in front of us, and because of the people I was sitting with, this one will always hold a special place in my heart.

 

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When Vikings safety Anthony Harris turned on the film of Detroit’s offense from Monday night, it didn’t take long for the Lions to grab his attention. Detroit ran a flea-flicker on its opening play from scrimmage, with Matthew Stafford connecting with Kenny Golladay for a 66-yard gain. While that led to a Lions field goal, Detroit was at it again on the first play of its next series. This time, Stafford sold a play-action fake before firing deep to Marvin Hall for 58 yards. That eventually led to a Lions touchdown.

Harris: “It shows they’re trying to take their shots. A lot of times early in the game, teams like to do stuff they haven’t done. Maybe come out, try some gadget plays and stuff that’s going to mess with your eyes. This year, you turn on the film and you see them being a lot more aggressive. Especially early on in the game, you see them come out and try to get those big plays and try to get momentum. It’s going to be important that everyone take care of their responsibility so we can put together a good game.”

https://www.vikings.com/news/vikings-expect-early-aggressiveness-by-lions-offense

Edited by vike daddy

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As I was out on vacation for a couple of days, I didn't get this posted, but here you go, link to the map is on page 1.

07-FOX-E.png

Rams-Falcons

Cardinals-Giants

Vikings-Lions

49ers-Washington

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6 minutes ago, Nbanflguy said:

This would be a huge win. With Mahomes out, a win here gives us a real shot at 7-2

I don’t see the Packers losing a game during this stretch either. They play the Raiders, Chiefs (no Mahomes) and Chargers. They should win those 3. Vikes could be in second place at 7-2.

However, knowing how Zimmer and Cousins respond to big games, we will probably drop the next two and this will all be irrelevant.

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1 hour ago, vikingsrule said:

I don’t see the Packers losing a game during this stretch either. They play the Raiders, Chiefs (no Mahomes) and Chargers. They should win those 3. Vikes could be in second place at 7-2.

However, knowing how Zimmer and Cousins respond to big games, we will probably drop the next two and this will all be irrelevant.

It's possible that the Packers could be without their top 3 WRs this weekend as none of them practiced today.

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35 minutes ago, swede700 said:

It's possible that the Packers could be without their top 3 WRs this weekend as none of them practiced today.

Vikings/Lions thread and all you Viking fans want to do is talk about the Packers. In your head much? xD

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15 minutes ago, Golfman said:

Vikings/Lions thread and all you Viking fans want to do is talk about the Packers. In your head much? xD

I only addressed the comment. The Packers aren't in my head.  I expect them to fold like a cheap suit once they have to play all those games on the road.

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