Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Game Preview: Vikings at Lions

EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1) are hitting the road to take on the Detroit Lions (5-9) at noon (CT) Sunday to complete the season series.

The Vikings won this season's first meeting between the teams 24-9 on Nov. 4.

Minnesota defeated Miami 41-17 on Sunday, and Detroit fell 14-13 at Buffalo.

The Vikings are 2-4-1 in road games, and the Lions are 3-4 in home games this season.

The Vikings defense has allowed 314.3 yards per game, the fourth-lowest average in the NFL.

Vikings DE Danielle Hunter is tied for second in the NFL with 14.5 sacks, helping power a pass rush that leads the league with 47 sacks this season, which is the highest total for a Vikings team under Head Coach Mike Zimmer.

Minnesota's offense ranks 15th in the NFL in total yards per game with an average of 358.9 through 14 games. The Vikings racked up 418 yards and scored a season-high 41 points last week against the Dolphins in the first game with Kevin Stefanski as the interim offensive coordinator.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has thrown for 3,913 yards, the ninth-highest total in the NFL, and totaled a 99.0 passer rating, which ranks 10th in the NFL.

Adam Thielen ranks second in the NFL with 105 receptions. Thielen's 1,255 receiving yards rank eighth in the NFL, and his nine receiving touchdowns are tied for seventh.

Thielen and Stefon Diggs, who ranks 10th in the NFL with a career-high 92 receptions, are the only duo ranked in the top 10 in catches this season. The Vikings WR corps leads all WR groups league-wide with 253 receptions and is tied for second with 22 touchdowns in 2018.


FOX (KMSP FOX 9 in Minneapolis/St. Paul)

Play-by-Play: Chris Myers

Analyst: Daryl "Moose" Johnston

Sideline Reporter: Laura Okmin


KFAN-FM 100.3/KTLK-AM 1130

Play-by-Play: Paul Allen

Analyst: Pete Bercich

Sideline Reporters: Greg Coleman and Ben Leber

Pre-Game Show: Mike Mussman – 10 a.m. (CT)

KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the five-state Vikings Radio Network.


Sirius: 106 or Streaming 819 (MIN); 113 or Streaming 810 (DET)

XM: Streaming 819 (MIN); 231 or Streaming 810 (DET)


With a team-record 10 sacks against Detroit on Nov. 4 and nine against Miami on Sunday, Minnesota became the second team since 1990 and seventh since the 1970 merger to register nine or more sacks in multiple games of one season.

Adam Thielen has totaled nine games with at least 100 receiving yards, topping the Vikings record of eight set by Randy Moss (2000 and 2003), for the most games in a single season.

Stefon Diggs has four games and Thielen has three games with at least 10 catches in 2018. Cris Carter (four in 1994 and in 1995) set the team record for the most games with 10-plus catches in a single season that has been tied by Diggs.

Thielen needs one touchdown, and Diggs needs eight catches and three touchdowns to become the first pair of receivers with 100 receptions and 10 touchdowns in one season. Colts WR Reggie Wayne and TE Dallas Clark are the only teammates to accomplish the feat, doing so in 2009.

The Vikings defense has allowed 97 combined net passing yards and totaled 11 sacks in the past two games.

Vikings defensive backs have recorded 7.5 sacks in 2018, the second-highest total by a group of defensive backs in the NFL (Titans, 9.0). Mackensie Alexander is tied for the league lead among DBs with 4.0. Harrison Smith has tied his career high with 3.0, and Jayron Kearse has one-half sack.

TE Kyle Rudolph has started a league-leading (among TEs) 63 consecutive games, which is the longest streak for any TE all-time in Vikings history. Rudolph started his 100th career game vs. New England in Week 14.

Kirk Cousins has joined Tommy Kramer (1981), Warren Moon (1995), Daunte Culpepper (2000, 2004) and Brett Favre (2009) as the only quarterbacks to pass for at least 3,900 yards and 25 touchdowns in a season.

The Vikings have allowed only five runs of 20 or more yards in 2018, the second-fewest in the NFL.

The Vikings defense has held opponents to a third-down conversion rate of 28.6 percent, the best in the NFL.


The Vikings and the Saints are the only two teams in the NFL wot have multiple running backs with at least 500 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.


Latavius Murray: 538 yards, 6 rushing touchdowns

Dalvin Cook: 503 yards, 2 rushing touchdowns


Alvin Kamara: 860 yards, 12 rushing touchdowns

Mark Ingram II: 582 yards, 5 rushing touchdowns

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


Vikings GM Rick Spielman received his first NFL personnel experience with the Lions, serving as a college scout from 1990-94 before adding pro scouting duties in his final two seasons ('95-96) with the Lions.

Vikings COO Kevin Warren spent 2001-03 with the Detroit Lions as Senior VP of Business Operations and General Counsel.

Vikings Personnel Consultant Jerry Reichow was a fourth-round pick in 1956 by Detroit and helped the Lions to their last NFL title in 1957.

Vikings T Riley Reiff spent 2012-16 with Detroit and appeared in 77 games while starting 69 for the Lions. Reiff was a first-round pick (23rd overall) in 2012.

Vikings RB Ameer Abdullah played for the Lions from 2015 until being waived by earlier this season. The Vikings claimed Abdullah on Nov. 7. Abdullah played in 35 career games with 22 starts for the Lions.

Lions Offensive Line Coach Jeff Davidson held the same position for the Vikings from 2011-15. Lions Assistant Offensive Line Coach Hank Fraley coached under Davidson while with the Vikings from 2014-16 and held the same title with Minnesota.

Lions Tight Ends Coach Chris White served as the Vikings Assistant Special Teams Coach from 2009-12.

Local Connections

The Vikings roster features three Michigan natives — QB Kirk Cousins (Holland), TE Tyler Conklin (Chesterfield) and LB Eric Wilson (Redford) — and four players who attended college in Michigan: Cousins (Michigan State), Conklin (Central Michigan) LB Ben Gedeon (Michigan) and CB Trae Waynes (Michigan State).

Lions National Scout Mark Olson had a stint with the Vikings and graduated with his master's degree in sport management from the University of Minnesota in 1997.

College Connections

Four players from the Vikings and Lions attended Notre Dame: Vikings S Harrison Smith (2007-10), Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (2008-09), Lions WR T.J. Jones (2010-13) and Lions RB Theo Riddick (2009-12).

Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes (2009-12) and Lions LB Christian Jones (2010-13) were teammates at Florida State.

Vikings C Pat Elflein (2012-16) and Lions T Taylor Decker (2012-15) were teammates at Ohio State.


Stefon Diggs: 4 games, 29 receptions, 352 receiving yards, 1 TD; 3 rush attempts, 30 rushing yards

Latavius Murray: 4 games, 50 rushes, 164 yards, 3 TDs

Kyle Rudolph: 13 games, 47 receptions, 437 yards, 6 TDs

Everson Griffen: 15 games, 41 tackles, 13 sacks, 14 TFL, 2 PD, 24 QB hits

Danielle Hunter: 6 games, 19 tackles, 7.0 sacks, 7 TFL, 1 PD, 11 QB hits

Eric Kendricks: 6 games, 32 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 6 TFL, 6 QB hits


Cousins, in his first career game against the Lions (Oct. 23, 2016), threw for 301 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions on 30-of-39 passing, totaling a 106.9 passer rating for Washington. Cousins also added a TD on the ground, rushing three times for 15 yards.

Diggs caught his first career touchdown at Detroit (Oct. 25, 2015) and caught six passes for 108 yards in the Vikings 28-19 win over the Lions. Diggs earned Pepsi Rookie of the Week honors for his game at Detroit that season.

Rudolph has five touchdowns in the past seven games against the Lions, including two touchdowns in the game at Detroit (Nov. 23, 2017) on Thanksgiving.

DE Danielle Hunter set a career high with 3.5 sacks in the first meeting with the Lions this season in Week 9. Hunter also had a team-high nine tackles, three TFL, four QB hits and a fumble recovery he returned for a TD, en route to winning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

WR Adam Thielen has totaled 29 catches for 291 yards and a touchdown in his past five contests against the Lions.

LB Eric Kendricks had his first career game with multiple sacks (2.0) at Detroit (Oct. 25, 2015). Kendricks went on to finish as the NFC Defensive Rookie of the Month for October 2015.


The Vikings are 73-39-2 all-time against the Lions, and the teams have never met in postseason play.

The 114 total matchups are tied for the second-most against an opponent in Vikings franchise history along with Chicago. The Vikings have only played Green Bay more times.

Minnesota has fared well lately at Ford Field, claiming victories in two of the past three seasons.