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The Lions are heading to Minnesota to try to snap their 5-game losing streak against the Vikings. The Lions have been down to backups in both their quarterback and running back positions, but the backups have been doing quite well. Blough threw 22-38 for 280 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception, good for a rating of 87.6. Bo Scarbrough, their backup running back, carried 21 times for 83 yards, an average 4.0 yards per carry. Their defense has been pretty weak against both the run and the pass, which is going to be a tough thing to overcome this week. The Vikings are one of the most effective offenses in the league, coming 1st in passer rating, 3rd in completion percentage, and 1st in yards per attempts. Their run game has been great as well, and even though Dalvin Cook might be out this game, Mattison is a great backup and has 416 yards and 4.8 yards per carry on the season. I’m expecting the Vikings to top the Lions this week, as they’ve been an all-around stronger team this season. Click here for more details and betting information on the Lions @ Vikings matchup.
Date: Sunday, December 8th, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Lions: Matthew Stafford (Q), Jamal Agnew (Q), Da’Shawn Hand (Q), Sam Martin (Q), Rashaan Melvin (Q), Damon Harrison Sr. (Q)
Vikings: Riley Reiff (Q), Linval Joseph (Q), Adam Thielen (Q), Dalvin Cook (Q), Everson Griffen (Q), Eric Wilson (Q), Harrison Smith (Q), Shamar Stephen (Q)
Detroit Lions Analysis
The Lions offense has suffered a lot of injuries lately. Matthew Stafford has been out for the past few weeks. Without a very strong running game, Stafford was carrying their offense, and when he went out they took a huge hit to their efficacy. Kerryon Johnson, their running back, was also injured and is on IR. Thankfully for the Lions, it seems they’ve finally found a comfortable place with their backups. David Blough completed 22 of 38 passes for 280 yards, two touchdown passes, an interception, and a passer rating of 87.6 against a Bears defense that’s been one of the tougher ones this season. They also seem to have settled on a running back with Bo Scarbrough, who ran the ball 21 times for 83 yards, an average 4.0 yards per carry. The Vikings allowed the Seahawks to rush for 218 yards, two touchdowns, and an average 5.1 yards per carry in their Monday night matchup. Scarbrough may be the key to snapping the Lions losing streak.
Defense is where the Lions are going to be tested the most on Sunday. On average, the Vikings have the highest passer rating, the 3rd highest completion percentage, and the highest yards per attempt among all teams this season. The Lions allowed Trubisky, who’s been struggling this season, to throw for 338 yards, 3 touchdowns, an interception and a passer rating of 118.1 in their last matchup. They also allowed the Bears to rush for 75 yards off of 16 carries, an average 4.7 yards per carry. The Lions have the 5th fewest sacks on the season with 24. If they want to slow down the Vikings passing game, they’re going to need to find a way to get to Cousins. I think their defense is going to cause their downfall against this powerful Minnesota offense, which is mostly why I’m favoring the Vikings.
Detroit Lions Depth Chart
Minnesota Vikings Analysis
The Vikings offense was questioned early in the season but has bounced back to become one of the best in the league. They have a 69.3% completion rating, the third best in the league. They also average a 111.9 passer rating, the best in the league, and 8.5 yards per attempt, tied for the best in the league with the Cowboys. The Vikings also average 137.1 yards per game on the ground, the 6th most in the league. Unfortunately, Dalvin Cook is questionable for Sunday’s matchup after leaving their game against the Seahawks with a shoulder injury. Luckily, the Vikings have one of the best backups in the league, Alexander Mattison. He has 416 yards this season an gets an average 4.8 yards per carry. The Lions allowed an average 118.0 yards per game on the ground, the 10th most in the league, and an average 4.4 yards per carry, tied with the Colts and Patriots for 13th in the league. I think Mattison is still in for a big game, along with the entirety of the Vikings offense.
Russell Wilson threw for 240 yards, two touchdowns, an interception, and a 98.9 passer rating against the Vikings on Monday night. Blough put up similar numbers against the Bears, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Vikings can contain the Lions passing offense. The Vikings also allowed the Seahawks to rush for 218 yards, two touchdowns, and an average 5.1 yards per carry. The Lions aren’t a very run-heavy team, but they did run the ball 21 times in their last matchup for 83 yards (an average 4.0 yards per carry). Their rushing attack will be easier for the Vikings to handle than that of the Seahawks, but how much easier is to be seen. I think the Lions could do damage on the ground, so the Vikings need to be careful about containing Scarbrough.
Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart
There are some great running back pickups on both of these teams this week. Bo Scarbrough is rostered in around 47% of leagues. He had 21 carries last week for 83 yards, good for an 8.3 yard point game in PPR leagues. I think he’ll have a bigger game this week, given how Minnesota played against the Seahawks’ rushing attack. Alexander Mattison is another good pickup, if Dalvin Cook doesn’t play on Sunday. He’s only rostered in 19.1% of leagues, so there’s just about a 1 in 5 chance he’s available in yours. The Vikings love their screen passes, which make their running backs great targets in PPR leagues. After Dalvin Cook left the game on Monday, Mattison had 4 carries for 22 yards and 4 receptions for 51, an 11.3 point performance in PPR leagues. If you’re looking for a running back to stream I’d highly suggest looking into one or even both of these players, especially given how each team has been doing against the run lately.