Vikings Will Rebound From Saints Loss, Keep Lions Last in NFC North

Matthew Jordan

Monday, October 29, 2018 3:13 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 29, 2018 3:13 PM UTC

The Minnesota Vikings were schooled at home in Week 8 by the Saints, which just makes it more likely the Vikes will take out their frustrations on visiting Detroit in Week 9.

Matt’s 2018 Individual Game Record: 5-5 (ATS & O/U)

Detroit (3-4 SU, 5-2 ATS) at Minnesota (4-3-1 SU, 4-3-1 ATS)Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)Free NFL Pick: Vikings ATSBest Line Offered: JustBet

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Not too many intradivisional matchups in Week 9 of the NFL season, but we have one from the NFC North as the Lions and Vikings face off for the first time this year. They will play again from Motown in Week 16.

These teams split last year, each winning on the road. In Week 4, the Lions were 14-7 winners at U.S. Bank Stadium. Neither team came close to 300 yards – Minnesota had 284 and Detroit 251. The big difference was the three turnovers for the Vikings and zero for the Lions. Ameer Abdullah rushed for 94 yards and a TD to lead Detroit. He rarely plays nowadays.

On Thanksgiving in Detroit, the Vikings won 30-23. Case Keenum ran for a score and threw for two – all in the first half. The current Denver Bronco threw for 282 yards. Latavius Murray rushed for 84 yards and a score. Matthew Stafford threw for 250 and two touchdowns but had two turnovers. Marvin Jones caught six for 102 yards and two touchdowns.

Minnesota leads the all-time series 72-39-2. Of course, the Vikings’ QB now is Kirk Cousins. The Lions last saw him in 2016 when they beat the Redskins 20-17. Cousins threw for 301 yards and a TD.

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.@athielen19 makes NFL history with 8 100+ yard receiving games to start the season.

— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 29, 2018

Both Clubs Lose at Home Week 8

The Lions are in the NFC North basement following Sunday’s 28-14 home loss to the Seahawks, who were coming off their bye week. Seattle essentially won the game in the second quarter when it outscored Detroit 21-0. Russell Wilson had just three incompletions overall for a perfect rating, and the Seahawks rushed for 176 yards.

Stafford threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns, both to Jones, who had seven catches for 117 yards. Stafford also had a pick and a lost fumble as the Lions turned it over three times and forced none. Good-looking rookie running back Kerryon Johnson had only 22 yards on eight carries as Detroit largely abandoned the run after that second-quarter ambush.

The Lions’ playoff hopes are on life support now because this starts a stretch of five straight vs. teams with a winning record. The team is hopeful start defensive end Ziggy Ansah returns here; he hasn’t played since Week 1 due to injury.

I’ll admit I was flat-out wrong on the Saints-Vikings game on Sunday. Not surprised the Saints went to U.S. Bank Stadium and won as they are a good team, but that they largely dominated was a shock. The Vikings actually outgained the Saints 423-270 but sometimes yards are so misleading. Minnesota had two crucial turnovers, one of them returned for a touchdown (the other one almost was too).

There were two pieces of good news in the loss for Minnesota. Adam Thielen tied Calvin Johnson's all-time NFL record of eight straight 100-yard receiving games, set in 2012 with Detroit. He also tied Patrick Jeffers with a fifth consecutive game with 100-plus yards and at least one touchdown, which Jeffers set in 1999 for Carolina. And Pro Bowl defensive end returned Everson Griffen from a five-game absence for mental health treatment.

  • Vikings are 17-6 ATS in their last 23 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
  • Vikings are 25-9 ATS in their last 34 games following a straight up loss.

I can’t see Minnesota playing that poorly at home again, and it has covered 25 of its past 34 following a loss. The Lions, meanwhile, didn’t look good in road losses in San Francisco and Dallas. That the Vikings are giving less than 7 feels like a steal. Take advantage for a Sunday NFL pick.

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