Lions at VikingsLions at Vikings

The Detroit Lions are on the alley in Minnesota today with a adventitious to win their aboriginal analysis appellation in 30 years with a win or tie adjoin the Vikings.

It absolutely won’t be easy, as the Vikings are still in the NFC North appellation chase and playoff hunt. They can accumulate their analysis appellation hopes animate with a win over Detroit today, and by acquisition Green Bay abutting anniversary and acquisitive Detroit loses to Dallas, which would set up a champ takes the analysis antagonism Anniversary 18 in Detroit.

There’s a lot on the band today at U.S. Bank Stadium. Here are bristles things to watch out for in today’s matchup:

1. HOSTILE ENVIROMENT

  • It you’re a fan who brand to biking and see abundant NFL venues, U.S. Bank Amphitheater in Minneapolis should be on your list. The amphitheater is admirable and the atmosphere is one of the best in the NFL.
  • It will be ramped up today not alone because of the accent of the claiming but the Vikings are demography allotment in a ‘Vikings Winter Whiteout’ area all the admirers are asked to abrasion white and the players are cutting a white-on-white compatible combo.
  • “Our home army can be electric for us this weekend,” Minnesota arch drillmaster Kevin O’Connell said this week.
  • Lions arch drillmaster Dan Campbell is all-embracing the challenge.
  • “Yeah, look, this is about to be a boxy environment,” Campbell said. “Going on the alley at Minnesota, they got an outstanding defense, they’ve afflicted a brace of things up offensively aloof watching crossover tape. So, this is not activity to be easy. Defending (NFC) North champs from aftermost year.
  • “But man we wouldn’t accept it any added way. Go out there on the road, boxy environment, and we got a adventitious to get the abutting one, so we are activity to be attractive advanced to it. I apperceive I am, and I apperceive our guys will. So, we did what we bare to do today adjoin a hot aggregation to get to 10 wins and now we got to acquisition a way to get to 11.”
  • Lions admirers accept catholic able-bodied this year and the dejected will absolutely angle out amid all the white today.

2. BEN JOHNSON VS. BRIAN FLORES

Lions at Vikings
Lions at Vikings
  • The two coordinators accept done a agitating job with their corresponding units all year. Johnson has the Lions ranked in the top bristles in absolute breach (third), scoring (fifth), hasty (second) and casual (fourth). Flores has guided Minnesota’s aegis to seventh in the alliance in credibility accustomed (19.5) and fifth adjoin the run (92.0).
  • Flores has a absolutely different scheme. The Vikings advance the NFL with a assault allotment abreast 50 percent, but they additionally advance the NFL in the cardinal of times they’ve alone eight into coverage.
  • “Yeah, it’s the two extremes,” Johnson said this week. “In assertive situations, offensively, we consistently allocution about, ‘Hey, they’re either max-coverage or max-pressure,’ as a accepted philosophy. A lot of teams do that bottomward in the red zone, but Flores has affectionate of taken that to a new extreme. At any time, at any moment. It’s been fun this anniversary aggravating to anatomize their defense.”
  • What did Johnson baker up to advance the extremes today? The Lions are beginning off scoring 42 credibility adjoin Denver aftermost week.

3. ROOKIE SHOWCASE

  • Both the Lions and Vikings accept first-year players authoritative huge impacts for their corresponding teams.
  • Detroit’s amateur chic has accumulated for 18 touchdowns, the third best by a amateur chic aback the authorization confused to Detroit in 1934 – bound end Sam LaPorta (9), active aback Jahmyr Gibbs (8) and cornerback Brian Branch (1).
  • Among all NFL bound ends, LaPorta ranks aboriginal in touchdowns (9), aboriginal in contested catches (12), third in 25-plus backyard catches (6), fourth in receptions (71) and fourth in accepting yards (758). Gibbs leads all NFL active backs in boilerplate yards per blitz (5.7) and 20-yard rushes (10). With one added flat touchdown by Gibbs, the Lions will become the aboriginal aggregation in NFL history to accept assorted rookies with nine or added scores.
  • On the added side, advanced receiver Jordan Addison and linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. accept been analytical to the Vikings’ success this season. Pace was the Anniversary 14 NFC Defensive Player of the Week. Through 14 amateur he has 77 tackles, 2.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits, two tackles for loss, an interception and a affected fumble.
  • “He’s the absolute accord now,” Johnson said this anniversary of Pace Jr. “He is slippery, he’ll booty on blocks, but at the aforementioned time, he’ll get appropriate on by in a hurry.”

4. STRENGTH ON STRENGTH

  • There are some agitating matchups all over the acreage today but one of the best important for both abandon will be Lions appropriate accouterment Penei Sewell vs. Vikings bend rusher Danielle Hunter. Sewell has accustomed aloof one sack and 10 hurries in 14 games. His 2.8 burden allotment is the everyman amid all NFL tackles.
  • Hunter leads the Vikings with 15.5 sacks, which is alone a bisected sack abaft Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt for the NFL lead. He has at atomic one sack in 11 of the Vikings’ 14 contests this season.
  • What makes Hunter so alarming is that he’s recorded a cardinal of his sacks this year back the Vikings accept alone rushed three and alone eight into coverage. He’s relentless, and if Minnesota can burden quarterback Jared Goff on three-man rushes that’s advantage Vikings.
  • Another strength-on-strength antagonism today is Detroit’s hasty breach vs. Minnesota’s run defense. Minnesota is captivation opponents to an boilerplate of 3.7 yards per blitz and 92.0 yards per game. The Vikings accept accustomed alone one blitz of 20-plus yards all season.
  • Detroit has the additional best hasty breach in the NFL (140.9) and Gibbs leads the NFL with 10 rushes of 20-plus yards this season. So what gives today?

5. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MISTAKES

  • Minnesota ranks 30th in the NFL with 26 giveaways on the year. Their 14 fumbles are the additional best in the alliance abaft alone the New York Jets (15). Their 12 interceptions are the sixth most. Nick Mullens, who is accepting the alpha at quarterback for the Vikings today, threw two interceptions aftermost anniversary at the Cincinnati 14 and 22-yard curve in what concluded up actuality a three-point Vikings accident in overtime. He is 5-13 in his career as a amateur with 29 touchdowns and 25 interceptions.
  • There’s a acceptable adventitious the Lions get some acceptable opportunities to accomplish takeaways and they accept to booty advantage of those. Detroit’s 15 takeaways on the year rank 24th in the league.

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