Week 16 Preview: Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

Lions Week 16 Preview

The Detroit Lions are coming into this key divisional matchup with the Vikings off a big 42-17 win over the Denver Broncos. Minnesota is coming in off a tough overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals 27-24.

Detroit Lions 10-4 (1st Place in NFC North) vs. Minnesota Vikings 7-7 (2nd Place in NFC North)

Date: Sunday, December 24
Time:  1:00 p.m. EST
TV Channel: FOX
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Line: Lions -3.0 / O/U: 46.5

2023 Season Stats

Detroit:

2023 Offense P/G (League Rank) 
Total Yards: 394.4 (3)
Passing Yards: 253.5 (4)
Rushing Yards: 140.9 (2)
2023 Defense (League Rank) 
Total Yards Allowed: 320.9 (15)
Passing Yards Allowed: 225.0 (18)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 95.9 (8)
2023 Cumulative Points Scored: 27.3 (5)
2023 Cumulative Points Allowed: 23.6 (23)

Minnesota:

2023 Offense (per game averages) 
Total Yards: 347.4 (11)
Passing Yards: 248.8 (7)
Rushing Yards: 98.6 (23)
2023 Defense (per game averages) 
Total Yards Allowed: 316.0 (13)
Passing Yards Allowed: 224.0 (17)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 92.0 (5)
2023 Cumulative Points Scored: 20.7 (21)
2023 Cumulative Points Allowed: 19.2 (7)

Series History/All-Time Records

All-time head-to-head record: Minnesota Leads 80-41-2
Current streak: Detroit has won one straight
Last Detroit win: 12/11/2022 (34-23)
Last Minnesota win: 9/25/2022 (28-24)

2023 Top Players

Detroit Lions

Passing: Jared Goff – 335-499, 3727 yards, 26-10 (TD-INT)
Rushing: David Montgomery – 178 ATT, 855 YDS, 10 TD
Receiving: Amon-Ra St. Brown – 94 REC, 1175 YDS, 7 TD
Tackles: Alex Anzalone – 108 (70-38)
Sacks: Aidan Hutchinson – 6.5
Interceptions: Jerry Jacobs – 3

Minnesota Vikings

Passing: Nick Mullens – 35-46, 386 YDS, 2-2 (TD-INT)
Rushing: Alexander Mattison – 168 ATT, 660 YDS, 0 TD
Receiving: T.J. Hockenson – 91 REC, 902 YDS, 5 TD
Tackles: Camryn Bynum – 112 (79-33)
Sacks: Danielle Hunter – 15.5
Interceptions: Byron Murphy Jr. – 3

Lions Players To Watch:

Offense: Running Back – Jahmyr Gibbs

Over his last three games, Gibbs has averaged 75.3 yards a game and 7.5 yards a carry. In this week’s matchup, he will face a rush defense in Minnesota that ranks fifth in the league, so he will have a challenge at hand to continue his trend, but the way he has played this season, the Lions will need him to continue what he has done over recent weeks as they look to win a much-needed division win.

Defense: Defensive End – Aidan Hutchinson

Hutchinson has been a nuisance to opposing offense lines this season; after starting the season red-hot on getting to the quarterback and making life difficult for them, he has cooled off, only recording one sack in his last four games. He has been getting into the backfield, though; the Lions will need him to do that to make things difficult for Nick Mullens and force turnovers to get the ball back to the offense.

Bottom Line: Detroit Lions can clinch first division title since 1993

The Detroit Lions, with a win, will clinch the NFC North, which will be their first division title since 1993. Everything is still in front of the Lions as they can claim the second seed just by winning every game left; they can also claim the first seed if they win out and the 49ers lose two of their last three games. First, though, is to claim that title and get a chance to do it against the defending division champs; look for the team to come out ready to go and make plays right from the first whistle to the final whistle.

CJ

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