The Minnesota Vikings could easily win against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. They could lose seamlessly, signaling the symbolic end of the 2021 season. The game could end in a draw.
Whatever happens, sacks should be on the Vikings’ agenda. If the sacks don’t flood the scoring box in the purple section, well, the defense really is unrecoverable.
Here’s why, and a couple of reasons are attributable. First, reasoning number one with a bullet:
Lions starters in IR include LT Taylor Decker, C Frank Ragnow, top pass back Romeo Okwara, WR Tyrell Williams and CB Jeff Okudah. DE Trey Flowers and the new LT Penei Sewell are also hit.
If he #Vikings I can’t win this week at home, it’s over.
– Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) October 6, 2021
The Lions offensive line will be an absolute unit of papier-mâché. Reservist players will get the nod against a Vikings defensive front that, despite overall defense failures, is capturing quarterbacks. Through four games in 2021, the Vikings defense has counted the fourth-most sacks in the NFL. They’re tackling the quarterbacks in the backfield at a wonderful pace. Now, if the wins could follow, or even the rest of the defense, Minnesota could be in good shape. However, not yet.
A jumble of Everson Griffen, Dalvin Tomlinson, DJ Wonnum, Armon Watts and Stephen Weatherly will have Jared Goff, whom the Lions acquired, among other commercial products, for Matthew Stafford with the Los Angeles Rams in January.
And then there’s the great equalizer: Danielle Hunter. The Vikings EDGE pass rusher is a lion tamer. He doesn’t play better football than his deal with Detroit. In nine career games against the Lions, Hunter has amassed 11 sacks, 16 quarterback hits and 12 tackles to lose. He’s a tyrant in general, but especially with Detroit in the city.
Plus, that’s the damage Hunter is responsible for in the face of the unhurt versions of the Lions’ offensive lines. This Sunday I should have shoot fish in a barrel vibrations for the LSU student.
Also, Hunter’s teammates capture the quarterback when Hunter is involved in the game. Hunter missed all of 2020 due to a neck injury. But before that, from 2015 to 2019, the Vikings averaged 4.3 sacks per game as a team against Detroit. Hunter’s quarterback terrorism inspires and unleashes others like his running mate Everson Griffen to pounce on the fun. In one game during 2018, Minnesota had 10 sacks over Matthew Stafford at US Bank Stadium.
The Vikings have a documented history of smothering Lions quarterbacks, meanwhile, they also beat the entire team, and Sunday should be no different. If Minnesota doesn’t have many sacks or if the Vikings don’t win, it indicates that something is systemically wrong with the organization.
The Lions, on paper, are the perfect opponent to turn things around for the Vikings. Detroit has lost to Minnesota seven times in a row. In fact, the last time they won in the series was the game Dalvin Cook was injured in 2017, which somehow led the Vikings to an eight-game winning streak.
If things get out of hand for Detroit, Hunter could lead the NFL in sacks Tuesday morning. He’s sitting at five before Week 5, with the Arizona Cardinals’ Chandler Jones topping the list with six.
Finally, Griffen spent time in Detroit last season. You may have a revenge mini game in mind. Players think like this.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He present a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. Their Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut butter ice cream, ‘The Sopranos’ and The Doors (the band).