Final Thoughts: Vikings vs. Lions

Posted Dec 29, 2013

In every NFL matchup, there are a seemingly endless amount of angles to analyze. It’s hard to get to them all during the week of practice, and I’m sure there were some that slipped through the cracks despite all of the Vikings vs. Lions preview content we provided on this week.

As we sit here just hours before kickoff, I thought I’d try to cover a few more bases and provide a few final thoughts on the final game at Mall of America Field.

One last time
Everything I see and do today as final preparations are underway for today’s season finale causes me to think of the phrase "one last time.” Granted, those “on the inside" see the flaws of this building and the need for a new stadium every week, but the sentimental side of me, and I believe most fans, understands that this building has been a great home and has been the host for many great memories.

Watching individuals
In terms of attaining the ultimate team goal – winning the Super Bowl – this game has no meaning. Both the Vikings and Lions are out of playoff contention and are playing out one final week. So we need to focus on individual performances to maintain an interest level. Here are a few I'm watching...

-- Can Jared Allen get to double-digit sacks? He has 9.5 right now and if he gets a .5 sack today he will have recorded his seventh consecutive double-digit sack season.

-- Can Brian Robison get a sack? He has 9.0 and has never gotten to double digits. Lions RT Dylan Gandy is a converted guard and is playing hurt. I like this matchup for Robison.

-- Cordarrelle Patterson is four yards shy of breaking the Vikings single-season return yardage record. He is also one touchdown shy of setting the Vikings single-season kickoff return touchdown mark. Can he get to both today? I think Detroit will kick to him.

-- Kevin Williams. Is this his final game in purple? I hope not because I’d love to see him come back and play nose tackle next season. Maybe the team isn’t interested in that. Maybe Williams isn’t interested in that. I don’t know. But I do know there’s a chance this is the final time we’ll see Ticket in our colors, so I’m going to appreciate every moment of it.