The Minnesota Vikings have lost just two games this season and are coming off back-to-back wins over the Patriots and Jets. The Vikings will try to continue their dominance on the field as they face the Detroit Lions on the road in Week 14 of the 2022 NFL season. A win here will push them closer to the top seed in the NFC, which is currently held by the Philadelphia Eagles. Here are our Vikings Week 14 predictions as they take on the Lions.
Minnesota has been pretty much on fire all season. Their two losses were only back in Week 2 to Philadelphia and a Week 11 thrashing to the Cowboys. Meanwhile, Detroit has quietly enjoyed a strong second-half run. They have won four of their last five games and lost just by a field goal to the Bills in that stretch. Lions fans have gone from being dissatisfied with their coach to suddenly wondering if they will make the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
With all these in mind, here are our four bold predictions for the Vikings in their Week 14 game against the Lions.
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4. Vikings defense gets tested by Lions offense
One interesting thing here is that the Lions have been favored by various oddsmakers. One of the reasons for this is that the Lions’ entire offensive core is healthy. D’Andre Swift, who led the NFL in yards per carry earlier this season, appears to be fully recovered from shoulder and leg injuries that kept him out for several games. He and NFL touchdown leader Jamaal Williams have been an excellent 1-2 punch in the Lions backfield.
Meanwhile, Amon-Ra St. Brown has been electrifying for this team. He always plays well in crunch time despite constantly being hit. Detroit can spread the field now with guys like DJ Chark and Jameson Williams lining up out against a Vikings defense that has looked a bit exhausted since Week 10. Keep in mind that over the last four weeks, the Vikings have allowed 29.5 points, 459.8 total yards, and 337 passing yards. Detroit’s high-powered and confident offense will surely give the Vikings a very tough test this week.
3. Dalvin Cook gets a rushing touchdown
Both of these teams have pretty good run games. Of course, Minnesota boasts Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, while Detroit has the Swift-Williams tandem.
Remember that this Lions offense averages 127 running yards per game. That ranks them in the top ten in the NFL, while the Vikings had 128 yards last week against the Jets. Take note that Detroit is 4-2 since Swift returned from early-season injurie.
Meanwhile, Cook carried 20 times for 86 yards and a score in the Vikings’ victory against the Jets. He rebounded from a pair of poor games with a pretty effective game. His performance was highlighted by a four-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, his seventh of the season. Aside from the encouraging performance, Cook’s workload has remained consistent, with at least 17 carries in three of his last five games. He should get another rushing TD against the Lions.
2. Justin Jefferson and TJ Hockenson dominate the Lions secondary
Wide receiver Justin Jefferson has always come through for Vikings QB Kirk Cousins. JJ just makes the impossible possible with stunning YouTube-worthy downfield receptions. Take note also that the Lions have the NFL’s worst defense in terms of scoring and yardage. They allow 252.5 air yards per game and have given up 19 passing touchdowns this season.
When these teams first met earlier this season, Jefferson was shockingly restricted to three catches and 14 yards. Minnesota has since acquired tight end TJ Hockenson from the Lions in a deadline deal, opening up the field for Cousins & Co. We’ll see how he will do against his former team. Keep in mind that Detroit has allowed the second-most touchdowns to tight ends and the third-most yards to wide receivers. Both offensive stars could dominate here.
1. Vikings pick up another big W
The passing attack must be in high gear for the Vikings to win in this crucial divisional clash. Remember that the Lions run defense has improved in recent weeks, allowing just 116 yards per game on average over the last three games. Meanwhile, their pass defense has allowed the eighth most passing yards over that same time period. Vikings fans want to see Jefferson exploit that as much as possible.
Remember that three of the previous four games between these two division rivals have been decided by two points or less, with the Vikings winning by four points in the other. As such, this will be a really tight contest, also considering the Lions will play at home. Of course, take note also that Detroit hasn’t won a game against Minnesota by more than two points since 2017.
Again, we should expect a close game in Week 14, but the Vikings have been the better team all season. That should be enough for them to beat the Lions on Sunday.