Only one game separates the division leader from the last-place Lions in the NFC North division. That makes every divisional game a must-win, and this one will be no different.
But both teams in this game are coming off disappointing home losses and will need to shake off the hurt before taking the field Sunday.
Minnesota became the sixth-straight victim of the New Orleans Saints Monday night. While there is little shame in losing to Drew Brees, the Vikings to a man were not happy with their primetime performance.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer will look to rally the troops and make sure they do not look past the 3-4 Lions as they head into their bye week.
Detroit has played better since their opening week upset at the hands of the Jets. But last week, they were ambushed by the surprising Seahawks.
The addition of nose tackle Damon Harrison seemed to indicate Lions’ management believed the team can challenge for the playoffs this season.
But then they traded away top receiver Golden Tate at the deadline. Are they not as sure of their chances after the Seattle game? Or is the team confident Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay can carry the load?
Injuries and notes
Minnesota Vikings continues to list Dalvin Cook as questionable with his hamstring issues. Backup rusher Roc Thomas joins him this week with his own hamstring injury.
Several defensive players are also questionable, but none are new to the list and all are expected to play.
Detroit is relatively healthy, with only defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah listed as injured. The addition of Harrison offsets Ansah’s absence if he can’t play again this Sunday.
So far, Matt Patricia has his team right where they have been every season under his predecessor- around .500 and flirting with playoff contention. He will have to create the right message about Tate’s trade if he is going to get buy-in from his team that they are better than that.
Mike Zimmer was cranky again this week. Clearly, he feels his team is under-achieving, especially on defense. Another sub-par performance could precipitate changes in their bye week.
How to watch the Vikings-Lions game
Fox Sports will provide this game to their affiliates across most of the Northern United States in the early time slot.
And if you’re tired of expensive cable and satellite bills, you can watch this live stream NFL action on Fubo TV from the comfort of your favorite internet device.
Fubo carries the Fox Sports networks in almost every market. In fact, Fubo and other internet TV providers like DirecTV Now and Sling carry all the NFL-contracted networks so you can watch live stream NFL action all season.
Check out their websites to see what else they offer and why you should join the internet TV revolution.
Who will win the Vikings-Lions game?
How Detroit’s offense adapts to the loss of Golden Tate will impact their chances all season. The Lions have capable alternatives, but no one on the scale of Tate.
Minnesota won’t let them figure it out this week in front of their home crowd in a needed victory.
Final score: Vikings 27, Lions 21