20 Brief & Essential Facts: Lions-Vikings

20 Brief & Essential Facts: Lions-Vikings
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

Each week, VikingsTerritory details 20 statistical or interesting facts about the upcoming Minnesota Vikings game. This week’s edition involves the Detroit Lions, who are two-point favorites facing the Vikings in Week 14.

The game is on December 11th, 2022, at noon pm CST at Ford Field.

These are the 20 random facts to know about Lions-Vikings:

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1. The Vikings and Lions swapped draft picks for T.J. Hockenson to start November, and since that transaction, both teams are 4-1.

2. When Sunday’s game kicks off against the Lions, Eric Kendricks will have played as many games (112) as a member of the Vikings as Randy Moss (113).

3. Danielle Hunter has now played more games (97) as a member of the Vikings than Jared Allen (96).

4. Through 12 games, the Vikings offensive line ranks 10th-best leaguewide per Pro Football Focus.

5. The Vikings magic number for the NFC North is now one. Any combination of one win or one Lions loss (combined) hands the Vikings the NFC North for the first time since 2017. Minnesota can wrap up the division on Sunday at Detroit in one swoop.

6. Kirk Cousins strangely isn’t playing as well as last year, but his team is 10-2 through Week 13:

Kirk Cousins,
2021 Year-End Rankings:
➤ 4th in Passer Rating
➤ 5th in PFF
➤ 8th in DVOA
➤ 14th in EPA+CPOE
➤ 15th in QBR
➤ Tm = 8-9

Kirk Cousins,
2022 thru Week 13 Rankings:
➤ 15th in PFF
➤ 19th in DVOA
➤ 21st in Passer Rating
➤ 21st in EPA+CPOE
➤ 21st in QBR
➤ Tm = 10-2

7. The Vikings haven’t lost back-to-back games at Detroit since 2013-2014 — the end of the Frazier era into the dawn of Zimmer.

Don't Get Tricked about the Lions Defense
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports.

8. Justin Jefferson is on pace for 1,809 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns.

9. Minnesota has a > 99% chance of reaching the playoffs, per FiveThirtyEight. The Lions are at 8%.

10. If the playoff started today, the Vikings would host the Seattle Seahawks at U.S. Bank Stadium in the wildcard round. Tunneling down the stretch of the 2022 season, Minnesota will very likely face the Commanders, Giants, or Seahawks in Round 1 of the postseason — assuming the Vikings maintain hold of the No. 2 or 3 seed.

11. If the Vikings beat the Lions this weekend, they’d start the season with an 11-2 record, and even the 2017 Vikings didn’t do that.

12. To start the season, the Lions defense was historically putrid, ranking 32nd in DVOA, EPA/Play, etc., until Week 9. Then, Detroit’s defense quietly improved, ranking sixth-best in the NFL per DVOA from Week 9 to present.

13. Per Power Ranking Gurus, the Vikings have the NFL’s second-easiest remaining schedule. Only the Kansas City Chiefs have an easier Week 14-18 docket.

14. The Vikings defense ranks 31st in yards allowed to opponents. Some folks call the stat “total defense.”

Vikings 2023 Schedule Shaping up as Murderous
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

15. According to Pro Football Focus, the Vikings best player at the moment is Christian Darrisaw, with a 90.0 grade. Until this week, the top dog was Justin Jefferson.

16. Through 12 games of the 2020 season, the New York Jets had allowed 4,785 yards to opponents. Their record was 0-12. Through 12 games of the 2022 season, the Vikings have allowed 4,784 yards to opponents. Their record is 10-2.

17. The Vikings are 9-0 in games decided by 8 or fewer points. The only teams in NFL history to ever approach this level of “undefeated-ness” through 12 games of a season were the 2009 Colts (7-0) and 2019 Saints (7-0).

18. The Vikings rank second in the NFL per 4th Quarter points scored.

19. Detroit ranks 31st in defensive 3rd Down percentage (48.6%) and 31st in redzone touchdown percentage allowed (66.7%).

20. It’s been 1,090 days since the Vikings beat a team by 17 points or more. This is the longest such drought in franchise history. The last win by 17+ points occurred in 2019 at the Los Angeles Chargers.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).