The Vikings are in Detroit for a Thanksgiving Day showdown with the Lions. The winner of today's game will be in sole possession of first place with five games to play. Here are a few final thoughts on the matchup…
Who's in, who's out?
Kickoff is at 11:30 a.m. CT, but a big moment in this matchup will occur 90 minutes before that at 10:00 a.m. CT when the Vikings disclose their inactive players. Stefon Diggs, Eric Kendricks, Captain Munnerlyn and Harrison Smith were all listed as questionable on the week's final injury report, meaning there could be some game-time decisions to be made as to the play status of some key Vikings players.
Treadwell's time if Diggs can't go
If Diggs is on the wrong side of a game-time decision and sits out today, the opportunity may be there for rookie Laquon Treadwell to get his first significant action. It was against the Lions in Ford Field last year when Diggs caught his first touchdown and had six catches for 108 yards in total. A similar performance by Treadwell today would be a big boost for the Vikings.
Lions stud pass rusher Ansah in better form this time around
DE Ziggy Ansah is one of the Lions best players and he's been a thorn in the Vikings side for a few seasons. In the Week 9 matchup between these teams, though, Ansah was not in top form. He's missed three games this season with an injury and was still rounding back into form the last time the Vikings and Lions met. Ansah appears to be in much better form this time around and his matchup against Vikings LT TJ Clemmings is a big one in today's game. Ansah has 30.0 career sacks in three-plus seasons, including 14.5 last year, but he has no sacks so far this season. He'll be looking to change that today while the Vikings will aim to continue that trend.
Vikings can end another losing streak today
The Vikings ended a four-game losing streak last week by defeating the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. They can end another significant losing streak this week by defeating the Lions. The Vikings have lost two straight divisional games, dropping decisions to Chicago and Detroit since winning their first division game in Week 2 (Green Bay).
Odd schedules the rest of the way
The NFL is a league where its players, coaches and entire organizations depend upon and thrive on routine and structure. There won't be much in the way of consistent routine for the Vikings for the rest of the season. The Vikings will have a Sunday-to-Sunday span between just one of their final six games this season. They play back-to-back Thursday games this week into next week, then play Jacksonville and Indianapolis on consecutive Sundays before closing with a Saturday/Christmas Eve game in Green Bay and a Sunday game at home against Chicago.