NFC Game Of The Week
Minnesota Vikings (6-4) at Detroit Lions (6-4)
Vikings: At one time, they were the talk of the league. They traded for Sam Bradford a week before the season started, they lose Adrian Peterson to a knee injury in week two and they started 5-0. Ever since then, they’ve gone 1-4 in their last five games and have struggled. Bradford has been taking some bad sacks and I can’t put that all on him because you truly play as well as those five guys up front and he’s made some “frustration throws” as I call it. The biggest thing I’ve taken away from their offense has been the short yardage running situations and that’s where AP really comes in handy. Their defense hasn’t looked that sharp compared to what we saw during their winning streak, but they did play better in their win against the Cardinals on Sunday. This is a big game for them because, with the win, they would have sole possession of first place in the NFC North.
Lions: I remember as the season approached, I said that the Lions would be more of an unpredictable offense without Calvin Johnson on the field because, during his playing days, you knew who Matthew Stafford was looking to get the football to down the field. Nowadays, their offense really keeps a defense guessing because you don’t know who to really prepare for. Golden Tate could have a big game and so could Marvin Jones. In a division where the Packers have dominated for so many years, Stafford right now is the best quarterback in the NFC North. He’s been the most consistent and he has some great numbers to back up that claim I just made. Right now, this is the favorite to win the division and for the first time in a while, they’ll be playing a meaningful football game on Thanksgiving.
Vikings Player To Watch: Eric Kendricks– When they met in Minnesota a few weeks ago, he was out due to injury. He’s one of their better run defenders and he can pick up a back in the flat in the passing game. Theo Riddick is one of the best receiving backs in the league and Kendricks will need to contain him.
Lions Player To Watch: Darius Slay– When they last met, he was out with a hamstring injury and he returned this past week against the Jaguars and looked rusty. He has to turn the page quickly and focus on stopping Stefon Diggs who’s become the Vikings most explosive player offensively.
Prediction: The first meeting went into overtime with Stafford making clutch throws and Golden Tate making an amazing catch to keep control and stay in bounds and score. I like Minnesota on the road in this one. Vikings 23 Lions 20.