Vikings vs. Lions Predictions
The Vikings passed a test last week, using big plays in the passing game to take down a talented Eagles team at home.
This week brings a new kind of test, as the Vikings travel to Detroit to take on a motivated Lions team that has playmakers at seemingly every position.
Can the Vikings get on the board in the NFC North, or will they go 0 for 3 on divisional road games? Here's what the experts have to say (my pick is at the end):
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Vikings 24, Lions 22
"While this Detroit team has been unlucky, so far, the Lions have played just well enough to get their hearts broken against quality competition like the Chiefs and Packers. They face a Vikings team Sunday that is more talented than the Lions on both sides of the ball."
Courtney Cronin, ESPN Vikings Reporter: Vikings 20, Lions 17
"Bold prediction: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will be sacked at least six times. Yes, his offensive line is better than last year, and yes, he's been sacked only 10 times in five games and is averaging a career-best 8 yards gained per pass attempt. But it's going to be another long day for the 11-year veteran QB against the Vikings defense, given he has few options for a quick out and not much to work with in the passing game beyond receiver Kenny Golladay."
Michael Rothstein, ESPN Lions Reporter: Lions 20, Vikings 17
"The Vikings should focus on the ground game again, as Dalvin Cook looks to take advantage of a Lions defense that has given up at least 100 yards rushing every week. Cook could be in line for a monster day, perhaps as big as 150 yards and a touchdown or two. How Detroit handles Cook could be the key to a win or loss."
Sam Farmer, LA Times: Vikings 31, Lions 23
"Expect a heavy dose of Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook against the NFL’s 28th-ranked run defense. The Vikings can use ground game to open the passing lanes, and Kirk Cousins can take advantage."
Todd Haislop, Sporting News: Vikings 24, Lions 17
"Whether Kirk Cousins is or is not the "weakest" part of the Vikings' offense is irrelevant when the entire unit clicks the way it did last week against the Eagles. On the other side of the ball, Minnesota's defense is quietly rising, now sixth in the NFL with just 15.5 points allowed per game. That combination will be too much for a Lions team still trying to establish itself as a contender in the division."
Bleacher Report: Vikings 24, Lions 21
"Cousins isn't Aaron Rodgers, but the Vikings also have far superior wide receivers compared to the offense Detroit faced Monday night. Minnesota is riding high after discovering how to properly utilize those targets. Cousins should continue to push the ball downfield, with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen being the biggest beneficiaries of a well-rounded Minnesota offense."
USA Today: 6 of 7 experts pick Lions
Mark Craig, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Lions 24, Vikings 20
"Using NFL logic as the reasoning, there are way too many smiles in Minnesota and way too many frowns in Detroit. It’s time for the two sides to meet back in the middle with the Lions coming away happy and the Vikings returning closer to earth."
Viking Maven's Pick: Lions 23, Vikings 17
Last week, I picked the Eagles to win a low-scoring game, and could not have been more wrong, so take this with a grain of salt. I just have a bad feeling about this game. The Lions are fired up after being robbed of a win last week, and Matthew Stafford seems to regularly find ways to win close games against the Vikings. The Lions' underrated secondary will intercept Kirk Cousins twice in a narrow win.