Week 18 Preview: Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

Lions Week 18 Preview
Vikings.com Vikings.com

The Detroit Lions are coming off what should have been a win but was stolen from them against the Cowboys. The Vikings are coming in off a loss to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday and are fighting for their playoff lives.

Detroit Lions 11-5 (1st Place in NFC North) vs. Minnesota Vikings 7-9 (3rd Place in NFC North)

Date: Sunday, January 7
Time:  1:00 p.m. EST
TV Channel: ABC/ESPN
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Line: Lions -5.0 / O/U: 46.5

2023 Season Stats

Detroit:

2023 Offense P/G (League Rank) 
Total Yards: 395.7 (3)
Passing Yards: 255.6 (3)
Rushing Yards: 140.1 (4)
2023 Defense (League Rank) 
Total Yards Allowed: 329.1 (15)
Passing Yards Allowed: 240.4 (25)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 88.8 (5)
2023 Cumulative Points Scored: 26.9 (5)
2023 Cumulative Points Allowed: 23.4 (23)

Minnesota:

2023 Offense (per game averages) 
Total Yards: 341.5 (12)
Passing Yards: 250.0 (6)
Rushing Yards: 91.5 (27)
2023 Defense (per game averages) 
Total Yards Allowed: 330.2 (16)
Passing Yards Allowed: 229.7 (18)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 100.5 (9)
2023 Cumulative Points Scored: 20.3 (22)
2023 Cumulative Points Allowed: 20.8 (12)

Series History/All-Time Records

All-time head-to-head record: Minnesota Leads 80-42-2
Current streak: Detroit has won two straight
Last Detroit win: 12/24/2023 (30-24)
Last Minnesota win: 9/25/2022 (28-24)

2023 Top Players

Detroit Lions

Passing: Jared Goff – 384-573, 4255 yards, 28-12 (TD-INT)
Rushing: David Montgomery – 209 ATT, 975 YDS, 12 TD
Receiving: Amon-Ra St. Brown – 112 REC, 1371 YDS, 9 TD
Tackles: Alex Anzalone – 120 (77-43)
Sacks: Aidan Hutchinson – 9.5
Interceptions: Kerby Joseph – 4

Minnesota

Passing: Jaren Hall – 13-20, 168 YDS, 0-1 (TD-INT)
Rushing: Alexander Mattison – 219 ATT, 886 YDS, 5 TD
Receiving: Justin Jefferson – 56 REC, 882 YDS, 4 TD
Tackles: Camryn Bynum – 130 (90-40)
Sacks: Danielle Hunter – 15.5
Interceptions: Byron Murphy Jr. – 3

Lions Players To Watch:

Offense: Quarterback – Teddy Bridgewater

Dan Campbell said the starters will play, but realistically, how long do they keep them out there? With all that said, Teddy Bridgewater has announced he will be retiring at the end of this season to coach high school football, so I like the chances of seeing him get into this game for his final time unless Jared Goff gets injured during the playoffs. Bridgewater hasn’t thrown a pass during this regular season, but in the preseason, he played in two games and threw for a touchdown. It would be nice to see Bridgewater on the field and face the team that drafted him in 2014.

Defense: Defensive Back – Brian Branch

Branch has been a stud on defense this season, playing different positions in different schemes; he has three interceptions for 63 yards, 12 pass deflections, one forced fumble, and one sack. He also has 73 total tackles with 49 solos, 24 assists, and seven tackles for losses. Look for him to be all around the ball against the Vikings.

Bottom Line: Detroit Lions Playoff Tune-Up

The Detroit Lions will either be the two-seed or the three-seed entering the playoffs next week. They need help to get to two, and it’ll take the Cowboys and Eagles both losing and the Lions getting a win, but if that doesn’t happen, they will be the third seed. This game will be a game the Lions will look to win but also to get reps for their guys to get ready for when it matters next weekend.

CJ

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