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Early Look: Vikings to Finish 2020 Season Against Lions

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings will close out their 2020 season on the road against the Lions.

Minnesota is out of playoff contention after a Week 16 loss against New Orleans. The Vikings, who are 6-9, have lost three straight games.

Detroit is 5-10 after losing to Tampa Bay in Week 16. The Lions have lost five of their past six games.

The Vikings earned a 34-20 home win over the Lions in Week 9.

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

Here's an Early Look at the Vikings Week 17 matchup against the Lions, presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud Ophthalmology Partner of the Minnesota Vikings.

Passing: Kirk Cousins played well against the Saints in a loss. He completed 27 of 41 passes for 291 yards with three scores and no interceptions. He had a passer rating of 110.9, which was his eighth performance of 100-plus in 2020.

The quarterback was also sacked twice, bringing his total to 15 in the past four games.

He has now completed 321 of 476 passes (67.0 percent) for 3,860 yards with 32 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He has a passer rating of 103.1, which ranks eighth in the league.

Cousins has also set a career high in touchdown passes and has the second-best passer rating of his career.

It remains to be seen who will start at quarterback for the Lions.

Matthew Stafford started in Week 16 but left with an injury. Chase Daniel saw some action, and David Blough also played against the Bucs.

Stafford has started all 15 games in 2020, completing 319 of 497 passes (64.2 percent) for 3,791 yards with 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His season-long passer rating is at 95.2.

Stafford is 8-12 in his career against Minnesota, and has thrown for 4,883 yards with 28 touchdowns and 10 picks.

Rushing: Dalvin Cook saw his usage go down due to the Vikings playing from behind, but he was still effective against the Saints.

Cook had 73 yards and a score on 15 carries against New Orleans. Ameer Abdullah added 13 rushing yards on one attempt, and Mike Boone scored a 4-yard touchdown on his lone attempt.

Cook ranks second in the league with a career-best 1,557 rushing yards, and is one of three running backs in team history with 1,500 rushing yards in a season (Adrian Peterson and Robert Smith). He also is tied for the league lead with 16 rushing touchdowns.

Minnesota ranks sixth in the NFL with 143.9 rushing yards per game. Detroit is tied for 30th at 91.3 yards per game.

D'Andre Swift had 45 yards on 10 carries against the Bucs. Peterson added 10 yards on four attempts.

Peterson leads the Lions with 541 rushing yards and 149 attempts, and he has six scores. Swift has a team-best seven scores, and has 467 yards on 102 carries.

Receiving: Irv Smith, Jr., caught a pair of scores and finished with six receptions for 53 yards in his hometown. Adam Thielen had eight receptions for 97 yards and a score.

Justin Jefferson totaled 85 yards on six catches, while Tyler Conklin added 31 yards on four receptions.

Jefferson leads the team with 79 catches for 1,267 yards and has seven scores. He needs 47 yards to break Randy Moss' Vikings rookie record.

Thielen ranks third the league with 14 touchdown catches and has the third-most touchdown catches in a season in Vikings history. He has 70 catches for 868 yards.

Marvin Jones, Jr., is Detroit's leading receiver with 68 receptions for 798 yards and seven scores. Tight end T.J. Hockenson has 64 catches for 698 yards and six touchdowns.

Kenny Golladay has only played in five games in 2020.

Minnesota's offense ranks sixth in the NFL with 385.6 yards per game. Detroit is 21st at 345.7.

Defense: The Vikings had their worst outing of the season — and one of the worst in franchise history — against the Saints.

Minnesota allowed 52 points and a franchise-high 583 yards, including 264 yards on the ground.

Alvin Kamara tied a league record with six rushing touchdowns, and Minnesota gave up seven rushing scores overall.

The Vikings gave up 100-plus rushing yards for the 12th time this season. Harrison Hand and Hardy Nickerson had interceptions for the Vikings.

Ifeadi Odenigbo leads the Vikings with 3.5 sacks, while Harrison Smith leads the team with four interceptions.

The Vikings now rank 27th in the league with 391.7 yards allowed per game.

Detroit has allowed 413.9 yards per game, which ranks 31st this season.

Romeo Okwara leads the Lions with 9.0 sacks, while Duron Harmon leads Detroit with two interceptions.

Special Teams: Dan Bailey made two of three extra points Friday. He didn't attempt a field goal.

Bailey is now 14-for-20 on field goals and has made 33 of 38 extra points in 2020.

Britton Colquitt averaged 46.5 yards on four punts. He's averaging 45.1 yards per punt this season with a net average of 36.4.

Lions kicker Matt Prater has made 20 of 27 field goals in 2020, and has hit 36 of 38 extra point tries.

Punter Jack Fox averages 49.1 yards per punt this season with a net average of 44.9.

Jamal Agnew handles return duties for the Lions. He has 156 yards on 12 punt returns (13.0 yards per return), and had a 74-yard score against Tampa Bay. Agnew also has 689 yards on 26 kick returns (26.5 yards per return).

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of January 4, 2021.

On a streak against the Lions

Minnesota has an all-time record of 77-39-2 against Detroit.

The Vikings have also won six straight against the Lions, although five of those wins came when the now-departed Matt Patricia was in charge in Detroit.

That win streak is tied for the fourth-longest in franchise history against the Lions. Here are the longest win streaks for Minnesota against Detroit:

13 games, Oct. 6, 1968 through Sept. 22, 1974

10 games, Oct. 13, 2002 through Dec. 10, 2006

7 games, Nov. 9, 1986 through Oct. 22, 1989

6 games, Dec. 2, 2007 through Sept. 26, 2010

6 games, Nov. 23, 2017 through present