Today will mark the seventh time in this series these two teams will meet in the last week of the regular season. The last time was in 2010/11, when the Lions defeated the Vikings 20-13 at Ford Field.
The Lions won the first meeting between these two teams, 34-24, in Week 1 of this season at Ford Field. Lions running back
The Vikings hold an all-time series edge of 68-34-2.
A LOOK AT THE STATS
|Points per game||25.5 (11)||25.1 (12)|
|Total yards per game||401.9 (3||344.2 (13)|
|Rushing yards||115.3 (17)||127.1 (10)|
|Passing yards||286.7 (3)||217.1 (22)|
|Points allowed||24.1 (17)||31.1 (32)|
|Total yards allowed||346.7 (16)||408.0 (31)|
|Rushing yards allowed||94.8 (4)||113.6 (18)|
|Passing yards allowed||251.9 (27)||294.4 (32)|
|Turnover ratio||-14 (29)||-10 (28)|
BY THE NUMBERS
27: Receiving yards need by Lions running back Reggie Bush to reach 500 on the season. If he does, Bush and
294.4: Passing yards allowed per game by the Vikings this season after giving up 366 to Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton last week. The Vikings are now last in the league in pass defense.
7: Receiving yards needed by Lions receiver
GET STAFFORD BACK ON TRACK
Stafford has thrown 11 of his 19 interceptions in the last five weeks, as the Lions are just 1-4 over that stretch.
Stafford needs to take better care of the football, certainly, but teammates have to be better around him, too. He’s endured too many drops and not enough receivers making plays for him these last few weeks.
The good news is the Vikings have the worst pass defense in the NFL and have allowed a league-high 36 touchdown passes this season.
Vikings receiver/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson averages 33.6 yards per kick return, the second-highest season average since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
Vikings punt returner Marcus Sherels currently holds the team record and also ranks second in the NFL with a 13.6 punt return average.
The Lions have not allowed a return touchdown all season long and certainly don’t want to start Week 17.
BOOK END TACKLES
Vikings defensive ends Jared Allen (9.5) and Brian Robinson (9.0) can become the first Vikings duo to each get 10 sacks in a season since 2004 – Kevin Williams (12) and Lance Johnstone (11).
WHO STEPS UP?
Receiver Calvin Johnson is questionable to play today, and even if he does, he’s probably going to be just as limited as he was last week against the New York Giants.
Even as limited as Johnson was (43 snaps), he still led all Lions wide receivers with three catches for 43 yards.
Mall of America Field, or the Metrodome, as most people know it as, is a tough place to play. It’s loud and it feels like the fans are right on top of the action.
The atmosphere is going to be even crazier on Sunday as the Vikings play their last game in the building before it’s torn down to start construction on their new stadium.
There will be tributes and video montages and the Vikings are going to try and whip their fan base into a frenzy to start the game. The Lions need to weather that early emotion and take the energy out of the building with a fast start.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: LIONS
Reggie Bush/Joique Bell, RB:
Bush had 191 scrimmage yards (90 rush, 101 rec) and a touchdown (77-yard reception) and Bell had two touchdowns in the first meeting with the Vikings Week 1.
Slay is likely to get the start for
Fairley had a monster game last week with a sack, safety and forced fumble. He’s been playing really well over the last month of the season and has really been a force in the middle for the Lions. He's played so well, in fact, he's earned a Pro Bowl alternate nod.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: VIKINGS
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR/KR:
Has scored a touchdown in four consecutive games, becoming the first Vikings rookie to do so since Randy Moss scored in seven straight games in 1998. Had a season-high 141 receiving yards against Baltimore in Week 14.
Greg Jennings, WR:
In his past two home games, Jennings has 18 catches for 241 yards (120.5 per game) and two touchdowns.
Brian Robison, DE:
Robison has been on a tear the least two months with eight sacks in his last eight games.