Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
BLUE

Vikings @ Lions

Recommended Posts

By JORDAN GARRETSON

STATS Writer
(AP) -- The Detroit Lions have taken a step toward shedding the late-season disappointment label they've earned in recent years. They'll have to avoid a potential letdown Sunday, though, when they host a Minnesota Vikings team that's looking for a third straight win.

 

Detroit (9-4) improved to 6-1 at home with a 34-17 victory over Tampa Bay last Sunday, its first in December since 2011, which also marked its last playoff appearance. The Lions, who dropped six of their final seven games last season, had lost nine straight in December.

 

"It's a new day. He said it from the beginning, coach (Jim) Caldwell, put it on Caldwell," center Dominic Raiola told the team's official website. "We keeping doing it every week and it's getting fun around here. The more we just worry about what's going on right now, handle the day, the better off we're going to be."

 

The Lions, who are 3-0 in the NFC North and trail the first-place Packers by one game, will be expected to finish with at least 11 wins given their remaining schedule.

 

They've won three of four at home against Minnesota (6-7) and will be looking for a fourth straight victory over last-place Chicago next week. The division could be decided in the finale at Green Bay, where they've lost 22 in a row.

 

Matthew Stafford turned in another strong performance last weekend, going 26 of 34 for 311 yards and three touchdowns for a 133.3 passer rating - the second-highest of his career. Stafford threw for a season-best 390 yards and two TDs in the previous week's win over the Bears.

 

Stafford had posted a 70.0 passer rating with eight TDs and 12 interceptions during Detroit's nine-game December skid.

 

"I feel good. I feel confident in what we're doing," Stafford said. "The guys are catching the ball, which is always great."

 

Those impressive showings came against weak secondaries, however, with Chicago ranking 30th against the pass and Tampa Bay 24th. Minnesota is sixth with opponents averaging 220.8 passing yards, and it held Stafford to 185 yards and a season-low 5.61 per attempt in Detroit's 17-3 road win Oct. 12.

 

Calvin Johnson has returned to dominance, catching 19 passes for 304 yards and three TDs over the last two games. He had 16 receptions for 230 yards and one score in his first three after returning from an ankle injury.

 

"We've definitely found a rhythm. I can't call our future. We're just going to keep on plugging away," Johnson said. "I'm feeling pretty good - the best I've felt in a little while."

 

Joique Bell has also been a force in Detroit's backfield, totaling 240 scrimmage yards over the last two games while scoring twice in each.

 

If there's one area Caldwell would like to see his team improve, though, it's playing more disciplined football. Detroit was whistled for nine penalties for a season-high 122 yards against the Buccaneers, and its 7.4 penalties a game are the eighth-most in the NFL.

 

"I am more interested in winning. But I know one thing: If you have too many (penalties), they lead to problems, they lead to deficiencies, they lead to losses," Caldwell said. "That is an area we have to get straightened away."

 

The Vikings come off a 30-24 overtime home win over the Jets last Sunday. Teddy Bridgewater found Jarius Wright on an 87-yard screen pass for the second-longest OT touchdown pass in league history.

 

Bridgewater was 19 of 27 for 309 yards with two TDs, and he owns a 119.0 passer rating over the last two games.

 

"This franchise is Teddy's. I know that was a good headline for you," coach Mike Zimmer said. "That's what he needs to do. He needs to take it over. This is his team now."

 

Wright had four receptions for 123 yards while Charles Johnson caught four passes for 103, including a 56-yard TD. Johnson, who was signed off Cleveland's practice squad Sept. 20, is tied for the team lead with 15 receptions in the last four games.

 

"He's a great route runner. He's a guy who's very patient. He's a guy who's going to continue to work hard," Bridgewater said. "We've seen nothing but flashes from him ever since he's arrived here."

 

Bridgewater floundered against Detroit in his second career start, going 23 of 37 for 188 yards and three interceptions, including two by linebacker Tahir Whitehead. The Lions are tied for second in the NFL with 17 picks.

 

Defensive end Everson Griffen has five sacks in his last five games against Detroit and is second in the NFC with 12.

 

Source: Hosted.Stats.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never bet against Teddy. It's time for the Lions to collapse.

 

:Vikings: 30

:Lions: 17

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lions are in such a good spot. All they have to do is win the next 2 and they're in. They cannot blow this.

 

:Lions: 37

:Vikings: 20

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Cordarrelle Patterson is active for Week 15 against the Lions.

He's the Vikings' fourth receiver. Minnesota's Week 15 inactives are S Robert Blanton, FB Zach Line, OLB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG David Yankey, OG Charles Johnson, and DT Sharrif Floyd.

 

 

 

 

Reggie Bush is active for Week 15 against the Vikings.

The Lions' Week 15 inactives are DT Nick Fairley, DT Caraun Reid, QB Kellen Moore, WR Ryan Broyles, DE Larry Webster, G/C Rodney Austin, and OT Garrett Reynolds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a way isn't this game kinda meaningless for the Lions? I mean, they still need to win this game or the next game vs Chicago. But even if they win this game and then win next week, they still need to beat GB.

 

IF Detroit does win this game then they can basically just rest up next week vs Chicago to prepare for GB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wild card is what this game is important for.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vikings were looking so good and then Teddy happens...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That Slay pick should have been overturned...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Chatbox

    Load More
    You don't have permission to chat.
×