2017 Week Four Game Preview: Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

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Green Bay Won On Thursday, Sunday’s Game Winner Will Sit Next Them In 1st Place In The NFC North.

While Detroit is walking into Minnesota on Sunday at 2-1, they are one of the most impressive 2-1 teams in the NFL. The famous play that ended the week three game against Atlanta is what got Detroit noticed by the national media. Sure it was another new way the Lions would lose, as they seem to be trendsetters in ways to lose a football game in the NFL, but they got something that they haven’t gotten in a while, respect.

NFL.com moved Detroit up to the number four team in the NFL after a loss, something you don’t see when teams lose. Detroit showed they could compete against the defending NFC champions, and now they have to go into Minnesota and take on a team that nobody can really depict just yet.

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Travis Swanson’s Return Has To Spark The Running Game

Travis Swanson missed last week with an ankle injury, so Graham Glasgow had to move to center and Zac Kerin had to start at left guard. Detroit could only put up 71 rushing yards, 19 coming from their quarterback. While the Falcons do have a good defense, the Lions couldn’t create much space with a backup guard.

With Swanson coming back, the line should be able to get better at creating space. They seemed to do better against the New York Giants in week two, but they have another good test in the Minnesota as their defense will give the offensive line a test.

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Jarrad Davis Is What Detroit Needs In The Run Defense

Jarrad Davis has been the most impactful rookie on the Lions roster this season. His first two games he was able to get 15 tackles and a sack. His impact on stopping the running game would have been helpful against Atlanta as they were able to run right through the Lions defense.

Now they take on Dalvin Cook and Jarrad Davis seems to be coming back from his concussion, so with Davis back the run game should be handled more properly on the defensive side. Jarrad Davis has proved his worth in two games, so his impact on the field is big.

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Ziggy Ansah Brought Back Down To Earth

After a powerful game against the Giants, Ziggy Ansah was dead quiet against the Falcons. He didn’t record one stat as Jake Matthews shut him down. This week he goes up against a former teammate Riley Reiff, so Ansah will know how to work up against Reiff.

Ansah will be looking for redemption after a quiet game and he will need to help create pressure on Case Keenum, the quarterback who threw 19 straight completions against them last season. Detroit will need to get pressure on him if they want to be able to stop him.


This is a big game for the Lions this week. A win here gives them an advantage over the Vikings and it would be tied with Green Bay for first. Matt Stafford had to beat Minnesota on two fourth-quarter comebacks last season, but he might not need it this season. Detroit has a better defense, one that won’t allow 19 straight completions against Case Keenum again.

On offense, Detroit will be down Kenny Golladay, which is a hit to the receiving core. Swanson returning could ignite a boost in the running game. This one will be close again, but Detroit escapes with another win. Detroit wins 21-14.

If you are interested in a more in-depth game preview, check out Zac’s work here.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find me on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life and share your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for myfantasysportstalk.com and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.