I know that I haven’t been consistent in my posts of late and during the football season that isn’t really helpful. The last time I picked I went 1-2 overall and 0-3 against the spread. That brings my record for the year to 8-5 and 0-3 against the spread. The Lions need to win this game if they have any hope of playing for the division title in week 17. Matthew Stafford has raised his TID from three weeks ago from a 1.1 to a 1.6 still not winning quarterback material, but getting closer, I believe that if Stafford can get his TID into the 2.0-2.5 range in the last three weeks this team should make the playoffs. The Lions are coming off 2 very nice wins over the Bears and the Buccaneers games that they won comfortably without needing last second heroics. The Lions run game has started gaining traction in the last two weeks as the Lions run game has improved from 31st in the league to 29th in the league. The Lions receivers have a 5.75 YAC average. Matthew Stafford is completing 61.5% of his passes. Stafford has completed 64.4% of his passes to Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson. Stafford has completed 56.7% to his tight ends, and 59.7% to his other wide receivers, and 69.5% to his running backs. The Lions defense has a TID of 0.2 up from 0.0 of two weeks ago. The Lions are averaging 4.3 tackles for loss a game and 2.69 sacks a game. The Lions have the number 2 defense in the league, 10th against the pass and 1st against the run. The Lions defense should be able to take advantage of the fact that the Vikings are starting a rookie quarterback and that Adrian Peterson is still suspended.
The Vikings are coming off a victory against the inept New York Jets. Teddy Bridgewater has a TID of 0.6 and against the Lions defense I don’t see that getting any better. Bridgewater is completing 61.9% of his passes. Greg Jennings the Vikings leading receiver only has 50 receptions this season, and he has a 2.9 YAC average. The Vikings as a team are averaging 10.9 yards a catch, and 5.13 yards after the catch. The Vikings are averaging 2.92 sacks a game and 2.1 tackles for a loss a game. The Vikings don’t have what it takes to keep up with this Lions team.
The key to this game is going to be the Vikings secondary versus the Lions receivers. The Lions running game has been getting going in the last two games, but it has been set up by the passing game. If the Vikings shut down the passing game the Lions will not be able to beat them in the running game. The Vikings have the 6th ranked passing defense in the league, but the pressure is going to be on them to stop Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson.
Detroit is a 7 1/2 point favorite at home versus the Vikings. The Lions offense has been clicking in the last two games and have won both games by identical 34-17 scores. Take the Lions giving 7 1/2 in a must win division game against a weaker opponent.
Final Score: Detroit Lions 28 Minnesota Vikings 13