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Early Look: Vikings at Lions

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — It's a short week for the Vikings, who beat the Cardinals on Sunday but have a quick turnaround with Thursday's road game in Detroit.

There is plenty at stake in the Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Lions, a team that won 22-16 in overtime in Minnesota earlier this month.

Both teams enter with 6-4 records, meaning first place in the NFC North is on the line. Minnesota is the defending division champion and is looking to capture a second-straight NFC North title.

The Vikings snapped a four-game skid with Sunday's 30-24 win over the Cardinals, while Detroit won for the fifth time in six games with a 26-19 victory against Jacksonville.

Here's an early look at Thursday's nationally televised game:

Passing: Vikings quarterback Kyle Rudolph had another strong game Sunday, completing 20 of 28 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown. Bradford compiled a passer rating of 98.7 and had his seventh interception-free game of the season. 

Bradford threw for 273 yards and a touchdown in a Nov. 6 loss to the Lions. He has completed 217 of 311 passes (69.8 percent) this season for 2,191 yards with 12 touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. His passer rating of 99.8 ranks seventh in the NFL this season.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 24 of 33 passes for 278 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in Detroit's win over the Jaguars. He threw for 219 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against the Vikings earlier this season.

Stafford has completed 238 of 351 passes (67.8 percent) for 2,651 yards with 18 touchdowns and five interceptions so far in 2016. Stafford's passer rating of 101.2 ranks fifth in the NFL this season.

Rushing: Minnesota ran for 72 yards on 24 carries against Arizona, with running back Jerick McKinnon leading the way with 16 carries for 44 yards. Nick Easton had five attempts for 20 yards and a touchdown.

McKinnon leads the team with 97 carries for 285 yards and a score while Asiata has 85 attempts for 260 yards and four scores. Minnesota ranks last in the NFL with 70.0 yards per game.

Detroit averaged just 0.7 yards per carry Sunday. The Lions rushed 21 times for 14 yards but did score on the ground. Theo Riddick had 13 yards on four carries, and  Dwayne Washington had six yards on 13 carries.

The Lions rank 30th in the NFL at 79.5 rushing yards per game. Riddick leads Detroit with 79 carries for 310 yards and a score. Washington has 41 attempts for 108 yards and a touchdown.

Receiving: Bradford spread the ball around to his receivers Sunday, as three players finished with at least four receptions. Stefon Diggs had team-high six catches for 37 yards while Adam Thielen hauled in a team-high 65 receiving yards on five grabs. Cordarrelle Patterson had four catches for 53 yards.

Diggs leads the Vikings with 67 catches for 747 yards and has a pair of touchdowns. Rudolph has 39 receptions for 404 yards and a team-high five touchdown catches. Thielen has 37 catches for 518 yards and three touchdowns.Patterson has caught 34 passes for 309 yards and a pair of scores.

Riddick had eight catches for 70 yards, and tight end Eric Ebron had three grabs for 70 yards. Anquan Boldin had three catches for 37 yards.

Golden Tate leads the Lions in catches (52) and has 540 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Marvin Jones has a team-high 676 yards on 38 catches with four scores. Ebron has 451 receiving yards on 35 catches.

Boldin leads the team with five touchdown catches, while Jones and Riddick each have four.

Defense: Minnesota's defense returned to form and looked like one of the league's best units. Xavier Rhodes had a pair of interceptions and returned one of them 100 yards for a score, his first NFL touchdown.

The Vikings also sacked Arizona four times. Defensive end Danielle Hunter had 2.0 sacks. Defensive end Brian Robison and safety Harrison Smith each had one.

Minnesota allows the second-fewest points per game (17.6) and is third in the NFL by allowing 306.9 yards per game.

Detroit allowed 285 total yards to Jacksonville while forcing three turnovers. The Lions allow 358.2 yards per game, which is 19th in the league, and are 16th as the giving up 22.5 points per game.

Special Teams: The Vikings special teams unit added a spark in Sunday's win as they accounted for 12 points. Cordarrelle Patterson set the tone by returning the opening kickoff of the second half 104 yards for a touchdown. 

The play was Patterson's fifth kickoff return for a touchdown, which tied him with Percy Harvin for the franchise lead. Patterson has kickoff returns for scores at the Metrodome, TCF Bank Stadium and U.S. Bank Stadium.

Kicker Kai Forbath had a strong debut as he made a 27-yard field goal and was three of four on extra points, including one that was blocked. Punter Kevin McDermott had a spectacular day as he averaged 56.3 yards per punt, with a net average of 47.3, and had a career-long 72-yard kick in the fourth quarter. Marcus Sherels made an impact in his return to the field as he had three punt returns for 35 yards, including long of 23 yards.

Lions kicker Matt Prater made a pair of field goals against Jacksonville, while punter Sam Martin averaged 48.5 yards per punt with a net average of 48.0 yards.

Andre Roberts returned a punt 55 yards for a score for Detroit. The Lions and Vikings are the only teams in the NFL with two punt returns for scores this season.

Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Lions.

Over The Years

The Vikings are 71-37-2 all-time against the Lions, with every game coming in the regular season. The 71 wins are the most victories the Vikings have against one opponent in franchise history.

Minnesota swept the season series in 2015 but the Lions did the same during the 2014 season.

The Vikings best stretch against the Lions came from Jan. 2000 to Sept. 2010 when Minnesota won 20 of 22 games against Detroit, a stretch that included a 10-game win streak.

Last Meeting: Lions 26, Vikings 20, Nov. 6, 2016, In Minneapolis

The Vikings suffered one of their toughest losses of the season when they couldn't hold a three-point lead after scoring a go-ahead touchdown with less than 30 seconds left in regulation.

Minnesota took a 16-13 lead with 27 seconds left when tight end Nick Easton scored on a 1-yard run. But after a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, Detroit gained 35 yards on a pair of pass plays before the Lions sent the game to overtime with a 58-yard field goal.

Detroit later scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass to secure an overtime win and give the Vikings their third straight loss.

Besides Ellison's score, Kyle Rudolph had a 1-yard touchdown.

Everson Griffen had a sack, and Riley Reiff had an interception for Minnesota in the loss.

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