NFL Week 9 Preview: Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings

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Head Coach Matt Patricia And The Detroit Lions Have A Chance To Get To The Halfway Mark With A .500 Record If They Can Win At U.S. Bank Stadium On Sunday. 

It’s the second week in a row that the Detroit Lions made a splash in the trade market and this was a much more controversial trade amongst the Lion faithful. Wide receiver Golden Tate is headed to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2019 third-round pick. Tate has been a fan favorite in Detroit since he arrived four and a half seasons ago.

It’s an interesting move because the Lions appeared to be buyers last week when they got Damon Harrison in a steal of a deal from the New York Giants, although, that deal seems like something they couldn’t have turned down. Could the team really have gone from buying to selling after just one week? Not exactly. Kurt Carriveau and I have made it known that we did not think Tate would be around next season, so while the trade is a bit surprising, it was not totally unexpected.

This Weeks Opponent: The Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota (4-3-1) comes in as the second place team in the NFC North following their Sunday night loss to the New Orleans Saints. If there is one thing that the Lions will have going for them this week it’s that Minnesota struggles to run the ball. The Vikings have a couple of 100-yard performances out of Latavius Murray, but overall they have not run the ball well. Their passing offense is a different story as wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, with quarterback Kirk Cousins, have been putting up almost 300 yards per game through the air.

On the other side of the ball, Minnesota returns a lot of players from last years top defense, but the results haven’t been the same for head coach Mike Zimmer’s team. The Vikings do have a top-five run defense, but overall they are allowing over 24 points per game, which is pretty mediocre at 15th in League. This Minnesota team had an unprecedented amount of luck as far as injuries go last season and it appears to be catching up to them. The team was without four starters last week against the Saints.

Could The Lions Be 2-0 At US Bank?

The Lions were the only road team to win at US Bank Stadium in its inaugural season but were somewhat lucky in doing so. They won the turnover battle 3-0 and injured running back Dalvin Cook which seemed to off their offensive game plan. Minnesota has not proven to be the dominant force of last season thus far, especially on defense. Last year, defensive end Anthony Zettel had two sacks, four hurries, and a fumble recovery in the game at Minnesota and it would be nice to see that kind of rare production from other ends like Romeo Okwara or Kerry Hyder.

Somebody has to be generating pressure on Cousins, whether that be defensive end Ziggy Ansah (if he plays) or someone else. Stuffing the run and generating quarterback pressures is the only way that any team is going to win in Minnesota this season. I’m hoping that head coach Matt Patricia can find ways to generate pressure and slow down the duo of Thielen and Diggs. If the Lions secondary comes out and plays as they did on Sunday against the Seahawks last week, the Lions have absolutely zero chance to win this game.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow @charleskelbel on Twitter and leave your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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