NFL.com’s Nick Wagoner and NFL.tv’s Mike Reiss break down the Vikings-Lions game and what’s next for both teams.
READ MOREThe Vikings’ defensive line played like a team that was out of sorts.
With the exception of the return of Zach Fulton, all three players on the line were either injured or on injured reserve.
Fulton was unable to play, but his absence could not be attributed solely to injuries.
The Vikings’ offense also came into the game in a state of disarray, as quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was not even active for the game.
The Vikings defense was dominant, but they also showed it wasn’t the best against the Lions, with their linebackers missing tackles on multiple occasions.
The defensive line had the Vikings at one on two for most of the game and the Vikings were able to create space with their interior pass rush.
Bridgewater was sacked on just four of his 31 dropbacks, but he also threw an interception.
The Lions blitzed the Vikings more than they have in a long time.
In fact, it wasn and still is the Lions’ best blitz in recent memory.
The Lions’ blitz was limited to five plays total, with just one of them being an onside kick return.
Lions cornerback Darius Slay had two interceptions and a pass defended on his team’s first drive.
The offensive line was just as good as the defensive line.
Lions guard/tackle Corey Robinson, who had two sacks, was the only lineman to have at least one tackle for loss.
Robinson was able to move into the middle of the line of scrimmage with ease, making the Lions uncomfortable on both sides of the ball.
The linebackers and safeties did a great job of closing down Bridgewater, but Stafford didn’t have a great game.
Stafford completed just six of his 34 passes for 103 yards, and the Lions converted only seven of his five fourth-down attempts into first downs.
The only way that Stafford could have completed more than 60 percent of his passes with his receivers open would have been to run a lot more and be able to throw more often.
The only positive Lions running back Ameer Abdullah did had was get yards after contact.
The big-play threat averaged just 4.8 yards per carry and he ran into a number of safety issues.
Abdullah also had three fumbles, two of which were returned for touchdowns.
The defensive line showed some flashes, as well.
It is not clear whether they are going to be better than they were against the Bengals, but there was some progress on both fronts.
On the Lions defensive line, linebacker Kony Ealy and linebacker Kyle Van Noy combined for four tackles for loss and two sacks.
The two safeties had three tackles apiece, while the other two had two.
On the offensive line, the Vikings had a very similar defensive line to what they had in Cincinnati.
Defensive end Jared Allen and guard Luke Joeckel had three sacks, while left tackle Andrew Whitworth and center Dominic Raiola had three.
The right tackle had three stops, while tackle Everson Griffen had two stops.
The secondary did not show much improvement from its game against the Titans.
The cornerback position did not get much help from the secondary, and safety Glover Quin didn’t make an impact.
The lone interception the Vikings threw in the game was returned for a touchdown by tight end Zach Miller.
In other news, NFL.COM’s Nick Wadler reports that a young cornerback in the Vikings secondary was injured, and he will not play.
The young cornerback, Jordan Matthews, will miss the rest of the season.
Matthews played in all 16 games for the Vikings last season and started two of them.
He was injured against the Saints and did not practice all week.
He did have a few minutes in practice before the game, but the Vikings said he was not ready to play.
The Rams, Bengals and Lions will be back in action Sunday night when they face off at 7:00 p.m. ET.