The Vikings, coming off a pair of double-digit losses and another tumultuous week at Winter Park following the surprising resignation of Norv Turner, will look to get back on track at home. Mike Zimmer’s defense, stingy at the Bank, will help them snap their skid.
Prediction: Vikings 20, Lions 15
Three big story lines
NO MORE NORV
Pat Shurmur, an NFL offensive coordinator with two other teams, replaces Turner as the play-caller on an interim basis. But sorry, Vikings fans, four days isn’t enough time for him to overhaul the offense.
The offense will be down yet another starting lineman. Left guard Alex Boone is out with an injury, and Jeremiah Sirles is expected to replace him. So the Vikings will have their fifth different line combination of 2016.
TRUSTY, OLD #52
The defense, meanwhile, will be without every-down linebacker Eric Kendricks. That could mean Chad Greenway, the 33-year-old who has struggled in coverage this season, plays most of the game.
two key matchups
Chad Greenway vs. Lions RB Theo Riddick
Riddick, who played wide receiver at times at Notre Dame, has developed into one of the league’s most dangerous pass-catching backs. He will be a tough cover for Greenway when slipping out of the backfield.
Kyle Rudolph vs. Detroit’s defense
Rudolph could be the latest tight end to have a big game against the Lions. Their linebackers and safeties have allowed tight ends to catch 49 passes for 506 yards and eight touchdowns in eight games this season.
one stat that matters
5 Lions players who have caught at least 25 balls from quarterback Matthew Stafford
The Vikings will win if…
Shurmur quickly schemed up an offense that can protect QB Sam Bradford and the defense bounces back from an uncharacteristically soft performance in Chicago.
The lions will win if…
The hits keep on coming for Bradford, who has appeared antsy in the pocket the past two weeks, and Stafford spreads the ball around to the Lions, not Vikings defenders.
Vensel’s win probability