Tale Of The Tape: Detroit Lions At Minnesota Vikings

Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings
(credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(credit: Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
(credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(credit: Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
A season that was so promising is ending with the team going down in flames. It seems likely that this will be Jim Schwartz’s last game as the Lions’ head coach. Matthew Stafford did not do his head coach any favors in losses to the Ravens and Giants in the last two games. Stafford’s inconsistency has led to frequent turnovers. Stafford has thrown 19 interceptions this season, including 11 in the last five games.
Winner The Vikings were overwhelmed by the Bengals in their Week 16 loss, but they have generally played better with Matt Cassel under center than they did with Christian Ponder taking snaps. Cassel is not the most physically gifted passer, but he will throw the short- and medium-range passes accurately and he will get rid of the ball quickly.
Winner Despite a boatload of supremely talented offensive players, the Lions tend to flash their talent rather than give a great effort for 60 minutes. Reggie Bush has gamebreaking speed, but he does not leave it all on the field. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson has made some key drops in recent weeks, but he is still a game-changing receiver. Joseph Fauria is a solid red-zone contributor.
Winner The Vikings have punished the Lions with their running game in the past, and Adrian Peterson would like to end the season with a huge performance against his division rivals. Greg Jennings has caught a team-high 63 passes and he will hold onto nearly everything he touches. Rookie Cordarrelle Patterson has the speed to make game-changing plays.
The Lions have solid defensive personnel up front and they should rank much higher than 16th in yards allowed. The defensive tackle combination of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley is among the most intimidating in the league, but they can often take undisciplined penalties. Middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch has a team-high 123 tackles.
Winner The Vikings have had a number of games where they have given up points early and have not been able to stem the tide. That’s the primary reason they rank 31st in yards allowed. Outside linebacker Chad Greenway is a solid athlete who leads the team with 129 tackles, but he can get pushed around at the point of attack. Veteran defensive end Jared Allen leads the team with 9.5 sacks.
Special Teams
The Lions have done a reasonably good job on special teams, but they have given up some big returns at key moments. Joique Bell is a willing kickoff returner, but he does not have the quickness to make game-changing plays. Veteran PK David Akers has made 17-of-22 FG attempts this season.
Winner The Vikings have one of the best special-teams weapons in Cordarrelle Patterson, who has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and is a threat every time he gets his hands on the ball. Placekicker Blair Walsh has made 26-of-30 FG attempts this season.

The Winner Is

(credit: Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Winner Minnesota Vikings
4 out of 4

The Lions were eliminated with their overtime loss at home to a poor New York Giants team. It’s unlikely they will do anything but show up for the season finale against the Vikings.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor


  1. OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Matt Schaub #8 of the Baltimore Ravens takes practice throws during pregame against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 20, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Johnny Manziel (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
    Week 12 Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens At Cleveland Browns

    The Ravens have been enduring a most difficult season, and circumstances got even harder last Sunday in the win over the Rams when Joe Flacco’s season came to an end late in the game with an ACL tear.

  2. FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 8:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown by LeGarrette Blount #29 in the first half against the Washington Redskins at Gillette Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 15:  Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Denver Broncos looks on from the bench Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 15, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 29-13.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Week 12 Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Denver Broncos

    Tom Brady has had MVP-type numbers and consistently excellent production through the first 10 games of the season.

  3. Ben Roethlisberger Russell Wilson (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Week 12 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Seattle Seahawks

    Ben Roethlisberger appears to be indomitable at the quarterback position, and he is the key to the Steelers’ season.

See All Tales of the Tape
Weather App
Thursday Night Football

Listen Live