Your Minnesota Vikings are visiting the Detroit Lions looking to get back to .500 and stay in the playoff race. They feel that they can get a string of wins as the schedule looks to get a little easier. Will they? We all know how this team loves to keep it close playing up to or down to their opponents. There have been many times this season that they could have easily won, but seem not to by being unable to put a full game of complimentary football together. It could be the offense going ultra-conservative, the defense being unable to get a stop, or even tackle at times, to missed kicks. Even if all that goes right, then bum time management and bad challenges pop their heads up. Will this be the game the Vikes pull it together?
Dave and Darren who both started blogging on the Purple decades ago will go over a way to possibly see how this game will go and if the Vikings can win, so get ready for the Climbing The Pocket and Daily Norseman pregame show!
Here are the themes for the show:
- We’ll go over the usual stats to start - the strengths and weaknesses of each team.
Theme #1 The LOLOLions ...
Photo: Jamal Williams
Secondary photo: Amani Oruwariye -
- Picking a player or players to highlight for the Lions is hard. No one stands out.
- Who do you fear on this team? Jared Goff? Charles Harris? DeAndre Swift? (Oops! He’s not playing)
- The Lions don’t do anything really well.
- But they do have a healthy running back - Jamaal Williams - and they like to run the ball with Dan Campbell calling offensive plays.
- And that should be the Lions' offensive game plan against the Vikings. Try to run the ball against the Vikings piss poor run defense, throw occasionally, and score just enough points to beat a team that’s beaten up and disappointed from a tough, physical loss against the 49ers and will be looking past Detroit.
- Williams isn’t a great running back.
- He’s never rushed for more than 556 yards in a season. His career yards per is 4 and his longest run ever is 54 yards - five seasons ago.
- But he is healthy and facing the Minnesota Vikings defense. Expect him to rush for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
Theme #2 - No Cook, no problem?
Photos: Mattison and Wang Chung
- Mike Zimmer says Dalvin Cook is ‘day-to-day’
- But a dislocated shoulder generally sees players miss at least four weeks.
- So, Alexander Mattison will get to be the starter again.
- But with Cook out also means something should happen that Vikings fans have been pining for - freeing Kene Nwangwu!
- I expect the Vikings will be more equitable in the carries they give out with Mattison and Nwangwu as the running back tandem than they were when it was Cook and Mattison.
- I expect it to be more of a 65-35 split in favor of Mattison. With Cook playing, Cooker got 90% of the carries.
- Mattison is a good back. He gives you dependable, no-frills production.
- Nwangwu can provide the home run threat they lose with Cook out.
- Let’s see if Kubiak can come up with plays to get Wang Chung some one-on-one matchups in space. He will win those.
- Maybe the Mattison-Nwangwu duo will be just as productive as Cook was as our bell-cow back this season.
- Detroit’s rush defense is almost as bad as Minnesota’s.
Theme #3 - Disastrous Defense
Photo: Mike Zimmer
Secondary photo: Mike Pierce
- It’s looking like 2020 all over again.
- Despite a fair number of signings - Tomlinson, Richardson, Peterson, Breeland and getting Hunter and Barr back - the Vikings defense is costing the team games.
- Currently 24th in points allowed and 30th in yards allowed.
- Last year the defense was 29th and 27th respectively.
- Injuries are a part of it. But the run defense in particular has not been good even with the defense at full strength.
- The defense has given up over 30 points in three of the last four games.
- The sacks are dropping.
- Does Zimmer have a solution? It doesn’t look like it.
- If Pierce is back does that help the run defense a little?
- With the offense starting to perform like it did last year, and special teams much improved, it’s the defense that will cost this team a playoff spot in 2021.
Join us for your Minnesota Vikings talk amongst Two Old Bloggers and join the conversation! Fan with us!!! Come join the @Climb_ThePocket’s & @DailyNorseman’s blogger show with Darren @KickassblogVike and Dave @Luft_Krigare.