Monday, March 1

Vikings-Lions Preview



DETRO IT (AP) This season will end like so many others for Matthew Stafford: His Detroit Lions have a losing record and will not be in the postseason I

What’s different now is that there are real questions about Stafford’s future with the Lions I

” I’m not thinking about it,” Stafford said earlier this week I ” All I’m thinking about is the Vikings and trying to recover I I know people probably find it hard to believe, but that’s the way this business is I ”

Detroit hosts Minnesota on Sunday in a matchup of two teams that are out of the picture of the NFC playoffs I The Lions are heading into a major offseason after firing their coach and general manager I Stafford has been a mainstay in Detroit for 12 years, but given the uncertainty about the team’s plan going forward, it’s easy to imagine him elsewhere next season I

And if this is Stafford’s last game with the Lions, it could be disappointing I The coronavirus pandemic means there won’t be a stadium full of fans in Detroit, and Stafford’s own status has been unclear due to injuries to his thumb, ribs and ankle I The Lions (5-10) are coming off a 47-7 loss to Tampa Bay in which Stafford didn’t play much I

So Detroit will end in double-digit losses for the third straight season and the sixth time in Stafford’s tenure I That’s despite the efforts of a quarterback who is approaching 45,000 passing yards for his career I

” You play this game to go out there and play at the important moments, and we didn’t do a good enough job this year as a team to make sure we had those opportunities so late in the season,” Stafford said I I “That is obviously disappointing and something you want to rectify as a player, as a teammate, as part of an organization To

The Vikings (6-9) are also proud to play after three straight losses I They lost 52-33 last week to New Orleans, allowing six touchdown runs from Alvin Kamara I

“Every time you go out and play, you listen to the athletes all the time, no matter what you’re playing, what you’re competing in, go out there to win I Get out there and compete, ” Minnesota safety Harrison Smith said I So that’s the message I You don’t want to put an uninspired or undisciplined game in a movie I Put in the movie who you see yourself I ”

L IST OF ABSENT

Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook will not play for the Vikings after the death of his father I Left tackle Riley Reiff was placed on the COV ID-19 reservlastst Wednesday, giving the Vikings a chance to give rookie Ezra Cleveland, who has started eight games at right guard, a look there if they want I Tight end Kyle Rudolph’s 10th season ended early I He will miss his fourth consecutive game with a foot injury I

Detroit catcher KennHolidayay is expected to miss another game with a hip injury I He has played only five games this season I

GAME OF NUMBERS

Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson has some obvious goals to play for, needing 111 yards to break the NFL rookie record for receiving yards set bAnnualaHoldingin (1,377 in 2003) and just 47 yards to break the record I Rookie in the Randy Moss franchise (1,313 in 1998) I Jefferson has already outscored Moss in receptions I

“To really hit my goals and go beyond my goals, I mean, that’s something special,” said Jefferson, who set his pre-season goal of 60 receptions, 1,000 yards and six touchdowns I ” I have to keep going and keep building my game and get better and better every season To

Stafford needs 209 passing yards to reach 4,000 for the season I He hasn’t done that since 2017 I He’s 184 yards out of 45,000 for his career I

D ISMAL DEFENSE

After ranking sixth, ninth, first, sixth, fifth and eleventh in the fewest points allowed during their first six seasons with coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings have slumped to 28th this year with an average of 29 I3 pointsLostst per game I They bottomed out in a loss at New Orleans last week, with 264 yards rushing allowed I

ST ILL HAPPY

Lions interim coach DarrelBefellll was a close contact of someone who tested positive for COV ID-19, making him the first head coach to miss a game last weekend due to LA protocolsLeagueue during the pandemi He

He said it has still been a great experience I

” I have learned a lot,” he said I “ A lot of things have been thrown at me in a short period of time, but as I have told you many, many times, I love this game, I love being around these players, and I really love everything that happens I go ahead with that I ”

PREV IOUS MEET ING

Minnesota beat Detroit 34-20 on November 8 I Kirk Cousins ​​threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns for the Vikings I Stafford left that game for a concussion evaluation and backup Chase Daniel threw a touchdown and an interception I

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