To say that Monday Night Football against the Eagles went terribly for the Minnesota Vikings would be a massive understatement. Here are three keys to making sure Sunday’s matchup against the Detroit Lions goes better than the week two catastrophe.
1. Slow Down the Run Game
The Detroit Lions are averaging a league leading 7.2 yards per carry behind the tandem of D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. If the Vikings want to have a chance in this one they are going to have to slow Swift and Williams down at least a little bit. The Vikings best chance is going to be in making Jared Goff beat them with his arm which is an area where the Lions offense could falter. Dalvin Tomlinson and Harrison Philips are going to have to step up and be sturdy up the middle all day long for the Vikings’ defense to have success.
2. Win the Turnover Battle
This is one of the biggest cliches in football, but this week it holds especially true. The Vikings cannot afford to turn the ball over three times like they did last week against the Eagles. Kirk Cousins was far from the only issue in week two but if the offense can turn the ball over fewer times than the Lions’ offense that will go a ling way. Jared Goff has only thrown one interception so far this year but given his history, it is not unreasonable to think that the Vikings’ defense could cause three or four turnovers on the day.
3. Dalvin Cook Needs to Show Up
The run game was abysmal last week against the Eagles, so much so that Kirk Cousins, yes KIRK COUSINS, was the teams leading rusher with two carries for 20 yards. The offense simply cannot be that one dimensional again in week three and it all falls on Dalvin Cook. Cook was fine in week one, but could never get anything going last week. He is a top five back in the league and needs to start showing that talent that we have seen for the past several years. If Cook cannot get things going again, maybe start spicing things up with more carries for Kene Nwangwu and/or Ty Chadler just for a change of pace.
Prediction: Kirk Cousins redeems himself from last week’s nightmare and the offense explodes. Vikings 45, Lions 31