The Vikings Issue a Warning

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

On Christmas Eve, fans at U.S. Bank Stadium are expected to create a white out.

The Detroit Lions are venturing into U.S. Bank Stadium looking to prove that they’re fully deserving of the NFC North crown. At 10-4, Dan Campbell’s crew has been the clear-cut best team in the division, but there is still work to be done. Part of what will make their road game just a touch more difficult is the warning from the Vikings.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions
Sep 17, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell looks at the scoreboard in the third quarter of their game against the Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Similar to last year, Minnesota is asking fans to create a Winter Whiteout. Take a look at the promo clip from the team’s social media:

A major part of what makes the phenomenon work is that the players and the fans are in all white. In the end, there’s a suggestion that both parties are working toward the same goal. Yes, the players themselves are in all-white uniforms, but so too are the team’s supporters. The end result is a cohesive approach toward making Minnesota a difficult place to play.

The Vikings Issue a Warning

Lately, the Detroit Lions aren’t a joke. A lot of people will have a tough time accepting that reality, but it’s true.

Sep 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) and center Evan Brown (63) and center Frank Ragnow (77) in action during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Campbell ended up being the perfect hire for the Lions, a reality that I certainly didn’t foresee. He has done a wonderful job of securing buy-in from his players and instilling a culture that fits wonderfully with Detroit. They’re a scrappy, competitive bunch that nevertheless boasts some high-end talent.

On offense, Jared Goff gets to toss the ball to Amon-Ra St. Brown at receiver and Jahmyr Gibbs coming out of the backfield. Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta is up to 758 yards and 9 TDs. David Montgomery complements the offense very well, picking up 855 rushing yards in just eleven games played. Add it all together and the Lions have the league’s 5th-best offense by averaging 27.3 points per game.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores watches his team play against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Flores is going to have his hands full.

Meanwhile, the Detroit defense needs to be respected. One thinks of Aidan Hutchinson, in particular, as someone to worry about. The sophomore is sitting on 6.5 sacks and 19 QB hits, numbers that probably undersell how much talent is present. After all, we’re talking about the 2nd overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Vikings will thus need all the help they can get to pull off the upset. Some more magic from Ty Chandler will help and so too will a cleaner game from Nick Mullens. Defensively, one thinks of Ivan Pace since the young linebacker will be tasked with slowing down those talented RBs.

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fans cheer during the second quarter of a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The people sitting in the stands will have a part to play. Being loud at the right time can make things just a touch more difficult for Campbell, Goff, and the rest of the Lions. Oh, and the sound can hopefully be complemented by a collective Winter Whiteout effort. No doubt, players notice when home fans offer up tremendous support.

Kickoff between the Vikings and Lions is scheduled for 12 p.m. CST on Sunday, December 24th.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.