The Minnesota Vikings don't have a lot to play for, but they'll never lay down for the Detroit Lions.
At 2-10, Minnesota has thoughts about next season ringing in their heads, while Detroit is clinging to their scant postseason hopes. At 7-5, the Lions are in the thick of an NFC Wild-Card race that includes a number of teams.
Although their records are going in different directions, this is still a game worth watching.
Where: Ford Field - Detroit, Michigan
When: Sunday, Dec. 11 at 1:00 p.m. EST
Watch: FOX; DirecTV 709.
Listen: Vikings - KFAN / KTLK, Sirius 138; Lions - 97.1 FM WXYT, Sirius 92.
Betting Line: OFF
What's at Stake?
Lions' postseason chances. A loss won't end the Lions' season, but it will deal them a damaging blow.
Right now the Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears are all in play along with Detroit.
Dallas and New York play each other this week, and one of them is going to win the NFC East, leaving the other to fend for a wild-card spot.
If the Lions drop a game like this, it could cost them the entire season.
Vikings' Injury Report
Adrian Peterson, RB - Questionable (Ankle)
Christian Ponder, QB - Questionable (Hip)
Chad Greenway, OLB - Probable (Elbow)
Lions' Injury Report
Jahvid Best, RB - Concussion (IR)
Ndamukong Suh, DT - Suspended
Kevin Smith, RB - Questionable (Ankle)
Chris Houston, CB - Questionable (Knee)
Louis Delmas, S - Questionable (Knee)
Nick Fairley, DT - Questionable (Foot)
Fantasy Start 'Em, Sit 'Em, Sleeper
Start 'Em: Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions
The Vikes' secondary is horrendous and gives up points in droves. They have nobody that can cover Megatron.
Sit 'Em: Kevin Smith, RB, Lions
If he does play this week, he'll be taking on a rather stout defensive front of the Vikings. He also has competition from Mo Morris.
Sleeper: Toby Gerhart, RB, Vikings
Christian Ponder is questionable this week, and the Vikes are going to lean on the run game regardless. Gerhart played well last week in Adrian Peterson's absence.
What They're Saying
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes that star running back Adrian Peterson wants to play this weekend:
Asked if he would play Sunday, Peterson acknowledged his eagerness to get back into action as soon as possible even with the high ankle sprain he suffered Nov. 20 against the Raiders.'God willing I’ll be out there [Sunday],' he said. 'I’m like 70 percent.'Peterson's self-diagnosis that he is 70 percent healthy should be a warning sign to the Vikings coaching staff.
'In my opinion, 70 percent? I don’t want to see you at 70 percent,' Foreman said. 'I want to see you at 100. That’s your thing, though.'Responded Peterson: 'With that being said, I’m going to make sure that I’m good. I’m going to make sure that I’m OK and I feel like I’m able to perform...The main thing is just the passion I have for the game. Even being 2-10, I just want to get back out there and help my guys win some games.'
Rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley was one of six key players sitting out at Detroit Lions practice today, three days after aggravating a foot injury in Sunday's 31-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
With Suh suspended one more game, Corey Williams, Sammie Hill and Andre Fluellen are the Lions' available defensive tackles.
Starting defensive backs Louis Delmas and Chris Houston also missed practice today with knee injuries—neither played against the Saints—and running back Kevin Smith sat out to nurse his high ankle sprain.
Defensive end Lawrence Jackson is still out with a deep thigh bruise, and end Kyle Vanden Bosch took his usual day of rest Wednesday.
Vikings Player to Watch: Percy Harvin, WR
He'll line up all over the field in an effort to make things happen for this team. Whether he is in the backfield, split out wide, in the slot or on special teams, Harvin is this team's biggest playmaker.
Expect to see him touch the ball 15-20 times this week and be the reason they can pull an upset.
Lions Player to Watch: Calvin Johnson, WR
This Vikings' secondary continues to be shredded, and Johnson is arguably the best receiver in the league. He'll be targeted early in this game as the Lions won't want to let this Vikings team hang around and think they can win these games.
He already has over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
Key Matchup: Vikings secondary vs. Matthew Stafford
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has thrown 10 interceptions in the last four weeks alone. A lot of that has been because of his bum finger, but he has apparently put that behind him.
This week he'll have the opportunity to rebound against a Vikings secondary that has consistently been beaten up.
If they can't take advantage of Stafford's poor-to-mediocre play, then they'll have no chance against the Lions.
On the Hot Seat: Jim Schwartz, Lions
The Lions' boss man isn't going to be fired any time soon, but he needs to get a hold of his young squad.
This will be an important week against a division rival.
Prediction: Lions 31, Vikings 17