Don’t Be Fooled, the Lions Will Not Be Pushovers on Sunday

Sep 18, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions safety Will Harris (25) and linebacker Alex Anzalone. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

After Monday night’s 24-7 shellacking from the Philadelphia Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings head home back home this week. Once they’re done licking their wounds and eating their helping of humble pie, a Week 3 battle with the Detroit Lions awaits them.

Throughout the years, these Lions have been more akin to adorable housecats than ferocious competitors. That said, don’t be fooled, this pride of Lions will not go down easy on Sunday afternoon.

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The Lions Defense Is Young

Before we get into the scary parts of this Lions team, let’s discuss what Vikings fans can be excited for this weekend. The offense should be able to move the ball with ease. Detroit has a promising future with their defensive core, but for now, they are a very inexperienced group.

The Lions are the youngest team in the NFC, and the second youngest team in the NFL, and it shows on this side of the ball. They start multiple rookies and are susceptible to letting teams run the score up on them. Here are their team defensive rankings through two weeks, per Pro-Football-Reference.

  • Points Allowed: 31st
  • Yards Allowed 30th
  • Yards Per Play Allowed: T-22nd
  • Passing Yards Allowed: 27th
  • Rushing Yards Allowed: 26th
  • Takeaways: T-23rd
  • First Downs Allowed: 28th
  • Third Down Conversion Rate Allowed: 30th

If you have Justin Jefferson or Kirk Cousins on your fantasy teams, you should be drooling at the sight of these numbers. Maybe Adam Thielen can finally get in on the action, too.

The Offense Can Keep Up with Anyone

Give the Lions credit; It seems like they are really trying to build this offense to maximize Jared Goff as a game manager. D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown are turning into a pair of superstars at their positions, and despite going through multiple injuries, their offensive line has done a great job of keeping Goff upright. Then you throw in T.J. Hockenson at tight end, and this unit is growing into something scary.

Minnesota’s defense looked quite slow on Monday night against the Eagles, and they continue to be unable to stop the run. That does not bode well against this Lions team that is averaging a league-high 7.2 yards per carry through two games.

Granted, large chunks of their production came against the Philadelphia Eagles as they tried to climb out of a 31-14 hole over the final 1.5 quarters of Week 1. On the other hand, the Minnesota Vikings went down by 17 points to the Eagles on Monday and did absolutely nothing. At least Detroit put up a fight to eventually lose 38-35.

Then this past week, they jumped out to a 22-0 lead on the Washington Commanders with a scorching first half attack. Goff threw for 4 TDs in that 36-27 win. Here’s where the offense stands through two weeks, again, per Pro-Football-Reference.

  • Points Scored: T-2nd
  • Yards: 4th
  • Yards per Play: 6th
  • Turnovers: T-1st
  • Passing Yards: 19th
  • Passing TDs: T-5th
  • Rushing Yards: 3rd
  • Yards Per Carry: 1st
  • Rushing TDs: T-3rd
  • Third Down Conversion Rate: 9th
  • Red Zone Scoring Percentage: T-4th

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, the Vikings cannot allow themselves to be lulled to sleep by this Detroit Lions team. This is a team fully capable of putting up 30-plus points in any given week, and they can roar back into a game given the chance. Luckily, the Vikings shouldn’t be lulled to sleep after Monday night’s loss. They’ll be ready for battle, and I expect them to get a W.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken