Vikings

PREDICTION: Vikings @ Lions

Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn (USA Today Sports)

The Minnesota Vikings have a chance to stamp their playoff spot Sunday as they visit the last-place Detroit Lions. Before making a prediction, here’s your pre-kickoff Vikings reading material:

How the Vikings efficiently used play-action against the Miami Dolphins.

The Vikings scenarios for clinching a playoff spot and who they may face in the Wild Card round.

Why Minnesota’s defensive backs annually have among the fewest missed tackles.

The path for Vikings DBs to turn a corner in their third year.

From our newest contributor Nick Olson, a detailed look at the skillsets of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.

And our weekly podcast, The Zone Coverage Football Machine, this week featuring Cy Amundson, Arif Hasan, Luke Inman and yours truly.

PREDICTION

The last time the Vikings faced the Lions, they won 24-9 without Anthony Barr, Tom Compton or Stefon Diggs, and Dalvin Cook and Everson Griffen were just getting back into football shape. They are missing LB Eric Kendricks on Sunday, but are otherwise much healthier than they were seven weeks ago. Chad Beebe should rejoin the passing game today and play a big role with Laquon Treadwell scratched, while Cook and Murray experienced their most success of the year running the ball against Miami.

Detroit doesn’t have much team speed on offense with Golden Tate (traded), Marvin Jones (injured) or Kerryon Johnson (injured). If 1,000-yard receiver Kenny Golladay gets shadowed by Xavier Rhodes, there may not be many other outlets for Matthew Stafford, who has had one of his worst seasons at quarterback.

The Vikings will win against a team that has seemed disinterested at times under first-year coach Matt Patricia.

Vikings 27, Lions 19


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