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Early Look: Vikings at Lions

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

EAGAN, Minn. — For a while Monday night, it looked as if the Week 7 matchup between the Vikings and Lions would be for first-place in the NFC North.

Yet after leading for the majority of the game, Detroit fell short in a 23-22 loss to Green Bay at Lambeau Field, dropping the Lions to 2-2-1 on the season.

The Packers sit atop the division at 5-1, followed by the 4-2 Vikings and the 3-2 Bears. Despite playing well for most of the game in a hostile environment, the Lions are now in last place in the NFC North.

Still, as the NFL season inches toward the halfway point, every team in the division is in the thick of the playoff race.

The Vikings have won two straight and will finish off their road division slate Sunday, having already played [and lost] in Green Bay and Chicago.

Kickoff is at noon (CT) from Ford Field.

Here’s a look at the Vikings Week 7 matchup against the Lions:

Passing: Kirk Cousins aired it out on Sunday against the Eagles, lighting it up for his best game of the 2019 season.

Cousins completed 22 of 29 passes for 333 yards with four touchdowns and an interception against Philadelphia, earning a passer rating of 138.4.

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The quarterback has been red-hot in two straight wins, as he has completed 44 of 56 passes (78.6 percent) for 639 yards with six touchdowns and an interception.

Cousins has completed 108 of 155 passes (69.7 percent) for 1,374 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions through six games. He has a passer rating of 108.4.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 18 of 32 passes (56.3 percent) for 265 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Stafford, who hit on a pair of 50-plus yard passes, had a passer rating of 83.5.

Stafford has completed 106 of 173 passes (61.3 percent) for 1,387 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions in 2019.

He is 8-10 in his career against the Vikings.

Rushing: The Vikings got the job done against the league’s No. 1 rushing defense, running for 122 yards and a touchdown on 35 attempts. That was the highest total allowed by the Eagles all season.

Philadelphia entered allowing just 63 rushing yards per game in 2019, but rookie Alexander Mattison produced that total on his 14 attempts, highlighted by a 35-yard run.

Dalvin Cook churned out 41 tough yards on 16 carries, and added a 1-yard touchdown.

The Vikings rank third in the NFL with 159 rushing yards per game, while Cook is fourth with 583 rushing yards. He is also tied for fourth with six rushing touchdowns.

Detroit averages 107.6 rushing yards per game, which ranks 16th in the NFL.

The Lions had just 56 rushing yards on 20 carries against the Packers, with Kerryon Johnson leading the way with 34 yards and a score on 13 attempts.

Johnson has 87 rushes for 285 yards and both of Detroit’s rushing touchdowns in 2019.

Receiving: Stefon Diggs went off Sunday, hauling in a career-best three touchdown catches. He also tallied 167 receiving yards, the third-highest mark of his career.

Diggs had a team-high seven catches, while Adam Thielen had six catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Rudolph added three catches for 36 yards, and Irv Smith, Jr., had two receptions for 29 yards.

Thielen has a team-high 26 catches and five touchdowns in 2019, and has 366 receiving yards. Diggs leads Minnesota with 420 receiving yards, and he has four touchdowns on 23 receptions.

Kenny Golladay led Detroit with five catches for 121 yards, while Marvin Hall had one reception for 58 yards. Rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson had four catches for 21 yards.

Golladay tops the Lions in catches (24), yards (364) and touchdowns (four). Marvin Jones has 20 receptions for 294 yards and a score. Hockenson has a pair of touchdowns.

Defense: The Vikings hung tough through three quarters before making a statement in the final frame against Philadelphia.

Eric Kendricks and Mackensie Alexander split a sack, and Danielle Hunter recorded the 46th sack of his career. Kendricks also forced a fumble that Anthony Barr recovered, and Alexander added an interception, his first of the season.

Minnesota allowed 400 yards of offense, but limited the Eagles to just four third-down conversions on 12 tries. Philadelphia entered the game with the NFL’s second-best offense on third down.

The Vikings rank fifth in the league by allowing 310.3 yards per game, and are sixth with 15.5 points allowed per game. Hunter leads the team with 6.0 sacks.

Detroit’s defense ranks 29th in yards allowed per game (413.8), and are 18th in points per game (23.6).

Damon Harrison had a sack on Aaron Rodgers, and Justin Coleman, who spent time with Minnesota earlier in his career, picked off the quarterback.

Devon Kennard leads Detroit with 3.0 sacks, and a trio of players have one interception apiece.

Special teams: Vikings kicker Dan Bailey made his lone field goal try from 39 yards and knocked in five extra points.

Bailey has made eight of nine field goals, and 16 of 17 extra points so far in 2019.

Punter Britton Colquitt averaged 41.0 yards on three punts. He’s averaging 46.4 yards per punt in 2019.

Lions kicker Matt Prater was busy against the Packers, kicking five field goals with a long of 54 yards. He’s made 12 of 14 field goals in 2019, and 11 of 12 extra points.

Detroit punter Sam Martin averaged 46.5 yards on four punts. He averages 42.4 yards per punt.

Kickoff returner Jamal Agnew had a 100-yard kickoff return earlier this season, and is averaging 31.0 yards per return.

#PrimetimePurple

The Vikings will have a quick turnaround for Week 8, as Minnesota and Washington play on Thursday Night Football at U.S. Bank Stadium on Oct. 24. Kickoff is at 7:20 p.m. (CT).

Minnesota will wear its #PrimetimePurple uniforms, marking the sixth time in franchise history the team will be outfitted in “purple on purple” uniforms.

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