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Week 12 opponent: What the Vikings are saying

Every week during the regular season, the opposing head coach and sometimes a player speak to the Detroit media via conference call. This week it was just Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer on the conference call, but I also perused and other publications to see what else Minnesota players were saying this week.

So, what did they have to say about Thursday's big NFC North clash?

1. The Lions beat the Vikings 14-7 in Minneapolis Week 4. Since that loss, Minnesota's rolled off six straight victories. When asked Tuesday what the difference has been since that loss, Zimmer said there really isn't much that's changed at all. He pointed to Minnesota's three lost fumbles as the difference in the Detroit game.

View photos of the starters for the Minnesota Vikings

2. The last time these two teams met, Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen made headlines by calling Lions left tackle Greg Robinson "lazy." The Lions waive-injured Robinson a few weeks ago when starter Taylor Decker returned from shoulder surgery. What does Griffen think of Decker? He called him "good" on Monday.

3. Vikings receivers Adam Thielen and Stephon Diggs are considered one of the better receiving duos in the NFL, but Zimmer is also a big fan of the Golden Tate-Marvin Jones Jr. tandem in Detroit. Zimmer called Tate "sneaky and elusive," and loved Jones' leaping ability and speed. Team them up with quarterback Matthew Stafford, and Zimmer said the trio is very good.

4. Zimmer had some jokes today when he said the only way to keep Lions kicker Matt Prater out of field goal range is to move the goal posts back.

5. Can the Vikings take advantage of the slow starts we've seen from the Lions the last two weeks? Zimmer didn't think so. He made the point that his defense has given up a touchdown on the opponent's first drive of the game in each of the last two weeks. Zimmer also knew that the Lions have outscored their opponents by 50 points in the fourth quarter, saying that it's not always how a team starts but how they finish.

6. Vikings receiver Jarius Wright was asked this week how the Lions were able to hold Minnesota to just seven points in their first matchup Week 4. Wright said is wasn't so much about Detroit's defense holding them back, but Minnesota's offense holding themselves back by not doing what they were supposed to do.

7. The Lions have been very good at creating turnovers – Detroit is plus-seven in turnover differential – and a big part of that has been the play of their secondary. Zimmer said they were a well-coached group watching them on tape.

8. Minnesota safety Anthony Harris said the toughest part about playing Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is his strong arm and willingness to throw the ball up and let his receivers go up and make a play. "We're going to have to be tight in coverage."

9. The Super Bowl is in Minnesota this year. Could the Vikings (8-2) be the first team to play a Super Bowl at home?

"My feeling is we have the Lions on Thursday," Zimmer said with a laugh.

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