We are just an hour away from kickoff at U.S. Bank Stadium between the Detroit Lions and your Minnesota Vikings in a do-or-die contest for Minnesota’s NFC North division title chances. If the Vikings win out, they win the division, but that has to start today. Here’s everything you need to know about this one.
Date and Time: Sunday, 24 December 2023, noon Central time
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Television Coverage: KMSP-9 in the Twin Cities, FOX affiliates around the country, YouTube TV Sunday Ticket
Radio Coverage: Vikings Radio Network, SiriusXM Channel 22 (Vikings feed), SiriusXM App Channel 820
Line: Vikings +3, Over/Under 47.5
Chris’ Prediction: Vikings 24, Lions 20
1) Stop the run - This is a pretty easy one. The Lions come into this game with one of the top rushing offenses in the NFL behind David Montgomery and rookie Jahmyr Gibbs, while the Vikings have had one of the best run defenses in the NFL all season. If the Vikings can slow the run game down, they’ll have an opportunity to get after Jared Goff on passing downs and try to force some turnovers. If they can’t stop the run, it’s going to be a long day.
2) Don’t turn the ball over - Same as it ever was. The Vikings moved the ball up and down the field last week in Cincinnati, but two huge turnovers in scoring position cost them the game. Simply put, you can’t afford to do that in this one against a team like Detroit. The Vikings absolutely must hold on to the football better than they have been to have a chance here.
3) Start fast - This is the annual(?) Winter Whiteout game at U.S. Bank Stadium, and the crowd is going to be fired up for this one. If the Vikings can get off to a fast start and get the crowd into a bit of a frenzy, it will help them a lot. The Vikings haven’t lost to Detroit at home since 2017, and if they want to continue to have a shot to win the division they can’t lose this one.
Know the Foe: Pride of Detroit
As always, we’ll have a new Open Thread starting at the beginning of each quarter, so keep an eye out for those and keep the discussion rolling along accordingly.
Here’s hoping that in about three hours or so, we can talk about the Vikings getting back on the winning track and keeping their divisional title hopes alive.