For the Vikings, this one is simply about taking care of business.
They're double-digit favorites at home against the winless, injury-plagued Lions, and have a clear talent advantage on paper. They just need to come out strong, impose their will on both sides of the ball, and let their playmakers make things happen.
If the Vikings lose this one, their season is over and major changes could be coming this week. The jobs of Mike Zimmer and others might be on the line in this game.
The Vikings will be without running back Dalvin Cook, cornerback Cameron Dantzler, and nose tackle Michael Pierce. Alexander Mattison will make his second start of the season at running back. Linebacker Anthony Barr will play for the first time in 13 months after missing the last 18 games with a pair of injuries.
The Lions have several key players on IR, but all of their questionable players are active.
Still, this is an excellent matchup for the Vikings' offense, with Kirk Cousins and his stable of weapons going against a Detroit defense that has been one of the NFL's worst this season. Defensively, if the Vikings can slow down T.J. Hockenson and D'Andre Swift, they should have a chance to limit the Lions' entire offense.
Here's everything you need to get ready for the game:
- How to watch, listen to, or stream the game
- Game preview
- The Vikings' history as huge favorites under Zimmer
- Inactives list
- How the Vikings will adjust without Michael Pierce
Follow along below for live updates, and follow me on Twitter for additional commentary throughout the game.
Final Score: Vikings 19, Lions 17
Greg Joseph's 54-yard field goal was good as time expired. What a wild game.
0:37 — Unreal. D'Andre Swift runs in for a touchdown, the Lions convert the two-point try, and they have the lead.
2:00 — Oh my goodness. The Vikings, after missing a field goal, got the ball back and tried to run down the clock. But Alexander Mattison fumbled and the Lions have the ball in great field position.
Vikings 16, Lions 6
4:28 — After the Lions punted for some reason, the Vikings were able to move the ball enough to set up a 55-yard field goal by Greg Joseph. They're in a good position to win this game now, even though they haven't been impressive today.
12:01 — The Vikings' playcalling remains maddeningly conservative. They just gave it to Alexander Mattison three times on that drive and went three and out. Letting the Lions' secondary off the hook and keeping Detroit alive in this game.
1:12 — Kirk Cousins just threw his second pick of the year. The ball deflected off K.J. Osborn and was intercepted by Alex Anzalone. Lions hanging around in this one.
4:29 — Patrick Peterson with another third down PBU and the Vikings get the ball back.
9:58 — Eric Kendricks just made an absolutely incredible one-handed interception for the Vikings' second takeaway of the game.
12:46 — For some reason, the Vikings have gone back to Rashod Hill at left tackle. And he instantly gives up a sack, the Vikings ran it on second and long for some reason, and they go three and out.
Vikings 13, Lions 6
0:41 — The Lions decide to kick a 52-yard field goal on 4th and 2 and it works out. They trail 13-6 late in the first half. Going for it there might've been the better move anyways.
Vikings 13, Lions 3
2:20 — The Vikings replaced Rashod Hill at left tackle with rookie Christian Darrisaw and immediately scored their first touchdown of the game. Justin Jefferson is up over 100 yards already, and Alexander Mattison picked up the receiving TD from Kirk Cousins.
Vikings 6, Lions 3
9:50 — The Vikings get points off the turnover, just not a touchdown. A questionable holding call and a run on 2nd and 17 ruined a promising drive and Minnesota was held to a field goal again.
0:54 — Hello, Everson Griffen. He just got to Jared Goff on back to back plays. First for a sack, then splitting a sack with Danielle Hunter and causing a fumble that was recovered by James Lynch. Huge turnover.
Lions 3, Vikings 3
6:30 — The Vikings respond with a field goal drive of their own. Kirk Cousins hit Justin Jefferson for two big third down conversions, but the drive stalled at the Lions' 20.
Lions 3, Vikings 0
10:34 — The Lions received the opening kickoff and moved the ball effectively, picking up five first downs to get down near the Vikings' red zone. But a Patrick Peterson PBU on third down helped hold Detroit to a field goal.