The Minnesota Vikings head to Michigan for a Week 14 divisional showdown with the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. The Vikings have dominated this fixture, leading the series 80-40-2. They have also won 9 of the last 10 meetings. However, the Lions come into this one with more confidence than most occasions in recent memory.
Here are my three bold predictions for the Vikings at Lions.
Hockenson Double TD Game
One of the stories of the game is T.J. Hockenson returning to Detroit after being traded from the Lions to the Vikings at the trade deadline. Hockenson has been a hit in Minnesota since his arrival, already racking up 225 yards and a touchdown from his first five games as a Viking.
His added presence in the Vikings offense opens the game up for the Vikings. I don’t believe Minnesota has taken full advantage of that yet, but this could be the game it happens.
The script is set for the former first-round draft pick to go back and have a big game. My first bold prediction is Hockenson does just that, with a healthy number of catches and yards, but more importantly, two touchdown grabs — adding to the touchdown he scored for the Lions in the reverse fixture in Week 3.
Cameron Dantzler Returns with an INT
The Vikings are set for a big boost in the secondary with the return of Cameron Dantzler. The cornerback was having a solid season before an ankle injury put him on Injured Reserve. With rookie corners Akayleb Evans and Andrew Booth now both on IR, Dantzler’s return is a welcome one.
It has been a revolving door at the cornerback position on the opposite side of the field from Patrick Peterson. Getting back their starting corner should be a huge boost for the Vikings. I expect another close game, where turnovers will be vital to Minnesota’s prospects of victory. My second bold prediction is that Dantzler returns to the team with a game-defining interception.
Jefferson, St. Brown Combine for Triple Figures
My final prediction is certainly a bold one. Justin Jefferson and Amon-Ra St Brown combined for over 300 yards. Jefferson is a bonafide superstar, but in St. Brown, the Lions also have a player of some talent. He tormented the Vikings defense in Week 3 before an ankle injury in the second quarter slowed him down. He finished the game with six catches for 73 yards.
The Lions appeared determined to stop Jefferson at all costs in that game, double and even triple teaming him. They successfully kept Jefferson quiet, limiting the Vikings receiver to three catches for just 14 yards. However, with several penalty flags, a failure to stop the run, and the rest of the Vikings receiving options enjoying themselves, the obsession with Jefferson somewhat backfired and could be said to have cost them the game.
I’m not sure they will employ the same tactics again and will trust Jeff Okudah to cover him at times. Single coverage of Jefferson doesn’t end well, so a bigger day for Jefferson would be on the cards. In the same vein, a fully healthy St. Brown will be a massive problem for the Vikings.