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Week 5 opponent: What the Vikings are saying

What are the Vikings talking about ahead of Sunday's matchup with the Lions in Minnesota? Let's find out:

1. The Vikings are 1-3 on the season, but much like the Lions who are 0-4, head coach Mike Zimmer believes his football team is better than their record would indicate. He said this week he feels like they are just a few plays here and there away from better outcomes. Lions head coach Dan Campbell has said the same thing, especially after Sunday's loss in Chicago where they came away with no points four times inside the Bears' 10-yard line.

Zimmer said he talked to the captains Monday, and they all believe in the process and will stick to the plan. They believe the results will start to come in the win column.

2. Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins expects a hungry Lions team coming to town Sunday trying to get their first win of the season. Cousins hasn't lost to the Lions since coming to Minnesota to be their starting quarterback. He's 6-0.

View photos of the starters for the Minnesota Vikings.

3. Zimmer opened his Wednesday press conference talking about Detroit and how aggressive their defense is. He mentioned Detroit's defense being one of the best on third down (Detroit ranks second in that category), and said Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn does a good job mixing up looks from multiple fronts.

4. Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook admitted to the Vikings media Wednesday he's still not 100 percent from the ankle injury that kept him out of the lineup two weeks ago. Cook played last week vs. Cleveland, but wasn't very effective, rushing for 34 yards on nine carries. Cook said he can continue to play while getting his ankle back to 100 percent. He said it's just a matter of playing through pain. Lions fans should expect him in the Vikings lineup Sunday.

5. Cook ran for a career-high 206 yards in a win over Detroit last year. Cook said that performance has nothing to do with Sunday's matchup with how different Detroit's defense is from both a scheme and personnel standpoint.

"You have to kind of forget about things like that and kind of approach this thing as a new slate, which it is," Cook told the Vikings team website.

6. Zimmer said he's got a lot familiarity with Detroit's coaching staff. He coached Glenn and Dan Campbell as players, and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn was on the same coaching staff with him in Dallas. Zimmer said Campbell was always a tough competitor, Glenn was a smart football player, and Lynn was a good, tough guy.

7. The Vikings are expecting linebacker Anthony Barr (knee) back in the lineup this week. Zimmer said Barr gives their defense a different dimension, but he also noted that Barr hasn't played in over a year, so getting him back out there and into the groove is important. Barr said Wednesday he's excited to get back out there and help the team.

8. One of the things the Vikings have talked about so far this week is the ability of D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams to catch the ball from the running back position and the pressure that puts on the defense, particularly with one-on-one matchups with linebackers. It's hard to overload coverages when running backs are factors in the pass game, so it's something the Vikings' defense is aware of and preparing for.

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