How about we all take a moment and recognize how good the Lions have been playing? While everyone thought that this would be a year for rebuilding in Detroit, Coach Dan Campbell and his team decided to skip that and just play good football.
Getting back to it, man, it must be so tough to be the Vikings. When you go from beating Green Bay in Week 1 to getting manhandled by the Eagles on prime-time TV in Week 2, there’s a lot of food for thought left.
Now, as they prepare to play host to the divisional rivals Lions on Sunday, what version of Minnesota will we be treated to? One where Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, and Dalvin Cook once again shine, or another in which the Lions stand tall in Viking land? Let’s talk about some NFC North football.
Is This Real Life? Or Just a Lions-Based Fantasy?
The Detroit Lions are one of the most entertaining teams to watch. Between their gritty attitude and heartfelt playing style, they are taking the league by storm.
Campbell has made it a point to make sure his players know and understand that playing for the Lions is a privilege rather than a hassle.
After putting on a valiant effort in their Week 1 loss against the Eagles, following that with an impressive win over Washington in Week 2, the Lions look like they haven’t started to warm.
On offense and defense, you can see the coach’s influence. Every down this team plays has a level of intensity that is almost unmatched.
Rookie defender Aidan Hutchinson is turning into a beast in Detroit’s front seven. But more importantly, what about fellow rookie LB Malcolm Rodriguez? He has taken to the league like nobody’s business and Lions fans are loving every minute of it.
Offensively, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown has been all sorts of dominant, even making a QB like Jared Goff looks good.
Add all of this we just mentioned and what do you get? A Lions team more than ready to step up to the challenge against the Vikings and steal a valuable divisional road win Sunday.
Hey Cousins, Jefferson, and Cook Can’t Do Everything
The Vikings looked very good in week 1 beating the Packers. No wait, let’s rephrase that. Jefferson and Cook looked Good in week 1. But then Week 2 and the Eagles on Monday Night Football came along. Nobody looked good in that game, especially Cousins.
Cousins looked like a deer caught in the headlights against Philadelphia’s defense, which, while physical, is not near as dominant as Detroit’s. Jefferson was eliminated from the game by Philly’s secondary. Cook? He probably rushed for more yards in his mind than on the field.
Cousins is one of those QB cases who are good, sometimes very good, but not good enough. When Cousins is in his groove, this man can play some amazing ball, but when he falls into his dark side, it’s easier to play with no QB for Minnesota.
Against Detroit, if the Vikings want to score a win, diversifying their offense will be key. If they focus on Jefferson and Cook alone, the Lions will make sure that both players get pounded.
But, if Minnesota can manage to throw in some variables on offense, they could find a way to sneak past Detroit’s defense and put some points on the board.
At the end of the day though, Minnesota’s destiny in the matchup will rely on Cousins. Get a good day from him and the Vikings will soar. Get a bad day and we could be in for another pummeling of Minnesota.
So, Roll with the Motor City or with the Land of 1000 Lakes?
While Minnesota continues to rely on individualities to find its best football, Detroit is all about a team-first mentality. This is where the scale tips in Detroit’s favor, because to win you need a complete team effort and as the old sports saying goes, “There’s no I in team”.
So if you like exciting, ground-and-pound style football, ride with the Lions in this game, it will be worth your while.