Scouting report: Lions at Vikings
Noon Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium (Ch. 9, 100.3-FM)
About The Lions
• The Lions (3-4) surrendered three passing touchdowns to Russell Wilson in the second quarter of a 28-14 home loss to the Seahawks on Sunday. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw an interception from the Seahawks 4-yard line during a late comeback attempt.
• Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson, a second-round pick out of Auburn, is averaging 6.1 yards per carry. That’s tied with Browns rookie Nick Chubb for the league lead among backs with at least 50 carries.
• The Lions traded leading receiver Golden Tate to the Eagles this week. Detroit’s top receivers are now Kenny Golladay (30 catches, 477 yards, three TDs) and Marvin Jones Jr. (26 catches, 387 yards, five TDs). The new No. 3 receiver, T.J. Jones, has three catches this season.
• In the first season under defensive-minded coach Matt Patricia, that Lions’ unit has been below average in just about every category. Detroit is allowing 26.6 points (25th) and more than 144 rushing yards per game (31st).
Player To Watch: QB Matthew Stafford
• Stafford, 30, is on pace for his eighth straight 4,000-yard season. But this time around, the Lions are protecting him better. Stafford is on pace to be sacked about 30 times, which would be the fewest since 2013. His line includes rookie first-round draft pick and Victoria, Minn., native Frank Ragnow.
• Stafford has led 26 fourth-quarter comebacks since he was drafted in 2009. Only Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger have more among current QBs.
• Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes on Stafford: “Fourth-quarter kid. You’ve got to play all four quarters with this guy; with all quarterbacks, but definitely this guy. You can never count him out.”
• Vikings coach Mike Zimmer on Stafford: “I think he’s taking care of the ball pretty well this year. He’s still got a big arm, can throw it anywhere on the field, and his movement in the pocket is still excellent. He scrambles around and ducks. Fran [Tarkenton] would be happy.”
Coach Speak | Matt Patricia
• Patricia is in his first season as Lions head coach after spending 14 years in the Patriots organization, including the past six seasons as Patriots defensive coordinator.
• Patricia inherited a Lions defense that ranked among the NFL’s worst in points and yards allowed last season. This year hasn’t been much different. The Lions have six takeaways — they ranked third with 32 in 2017.
• On trading receiver Golden Tate this week: “We’re in that time of the year. [Tuesday,] there was a lot of movement and things going on. Unfortunately, we just thought we’d try to do what’s best for the team at the time.”
• On what he’s learned from seven weeks as an NFL head coach: “It’s definitely kind of drinking from the firehose every single day that you walk in the office, and you just try to do the best you can with it. Be honest with everybody and make sure you have great communication.”