With kickoff minutes away, here are a few final thoughts about today's game.
Expect a lot of passingAs all teams do, Detroit will enter today's game intent on establishing the run and executing offensive balance. But don't be surprised if they become a pass-happy bunch against the Vikings. No team thrown the ball at a higher rate than the Detroit Lions; they've attempted 275 passes on their 403 snaps (62.8%). The Houston Texans have more passing attempts (278), but it's on 51 more snaps so their percentage is still below Detroit's. Plus, the Vikings have already shown they can shut down the Lions rushing game when in Week 2 they held their division foes to 38 yards on 16 carries. QB Matthew Stafford and the passing game got hot last week in a victory over the Chicago Bears and they'll look to stay on a roll against the Vikings today.
Dome-field advantageIt's hard to believe, but today will mark just the second time in his NFL career that Teddy Bridgewater will start a game in a dome. His first dome start? Last year at Ford Field. In that game, Bridgewater completed 31 of 41 passes for 315 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs. Dome starts used to be the norm for the Vikings, but that hasn't been the case the last two seasons. Another big box score by Bridgewater today in a dome may be the beginning of a very good trend for the Vikings considering all of their home games will be in a controlled environment (US Bank Stadium) beginning next season.
Munnerlyn is playing well, and it's coming at the perfect timeCaptain Munnerlyn is playing well for the Vikings so far in 2015 and he may be coming off his best game as a Viking. The timing is perfect, too. Head coach Mike Zimmer clearly has a plan in place for bringing along Trae Waynes and whether by design or by virtue of having depth at the position, that plan so far has not been a trial by fire for the rookie. With Munnerlyn ably handling nickel CB duties, Waynes hasn't been forced into action and has instead been able to rotate in and out of the game with Terence Newman. Aside from that angle, the timing of Munnerlyn's solid play is also perfect because the Vikings are going up against a pass-happy Lions bunch today that will require the Vikings to be in their sub packages for much of the afternoon.
Time to become road warriorsThe Vikings have heard a lot of talk lately about their lack of success on the road. They have a chance to quiet that talk now. The Vikings will play of their next four games on the road against teams with a combined record right now of 5-12. The next two road games are division games, as well, only adding to their importance.