20 Brief & Essential Facts: Vikings-Lions

20 Brief & Essential Facts: Vikings-Lions
Dec 8, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-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 six-point underdogs facing the Vikings in Week 3.

The game is Sunday, September 25th, 2022, at noon CST at U.S. Bank Stadium on FOX.

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

Justin Jefferson
Nov 8, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Lions defensive back Jeff Okudah (30) tackles Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

1. The Vikings-Lions rivalry is among the most lopsided in all of sports, with Minnesota holding a 79-40-2 (.661). This is likely why you don’t hate the Lions like the Green Bay Packers or Chicago Bears.

2. In 2022, the Lions have scored the second-most points in the NFL through two games (35.5).

3. No team has scored more touchdowns through Week 2 than the 2022 Lions.

4. Detroit’s defense ranks second-last in the league per points allowed (32.5) and third-worst in defensive EPA/Play.

5. Lions RB D’Andre Swift’s 10.0 yards per rush is the thrid-most all-time through two weeks of an NFL season, trailing only Jim Brown in 1963 and C.J. Spiller in 2012.

6. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the Vikings are 31-18 (.633) in Week 3 games. This is the 3rd-best record in the league in such games during the timeframe.

7. The Vikings rank 32nd in rushing defense DVOA through 2 weeks.

Ed Donatell Fails First Test
Sep 14, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports,

8. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2015, Kirk Cousins has the second-most games (25) in the business with 3 touchdowns to no interceptions, behind Aaron Rodgers (32).

9. In 2020 and 2021, the Vikings led the NFL in games decided by eight or fewer points. They had 24 such games. 73% of Vikings games were decided by one score. Fast forward to 2022, they’ve had two lopsided games.

10. Minnesota has +2500 to win the Super Bowl in 2022, the 10th-best in the NFL.

11. The Vikings have defeated the Lions eight times in the last nine games.

12. Three of the last four teams to win a Super Bowl lost games by 17+ points in the regular season — the 2021 Los Angeles Rams (twice in 2021), the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the 2018 New England Patriots. The Vikings lost by 17 points on Monday.

13. The loss in Philadelphia for the Vikings was the first by more than eight points with Kirk Cousins at QB since Christmas Day of 2020.

Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

14. In Quarters 1 thru 3, Adam Thielen has been targeted three times total in the first two games of 2022.

15. Against the Eagles, the Vikings surrendered 300+ Passing Yards and 50+ Rushing Yards to a single player for the first time in 61 years — or franchise history.

16. The loss in Philadelphia was also the first since 2005, where the team gave up 475+ yards on defense while turning the ball over at least 3 times.

17. Justin Jefferson is the odds-on favorite as of September 23rd to win the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year award.

18. Kirk Cousins has the second-highest passer rating of all time among all quarterbacks facing the Lions (min. 100 pass attempts) with a 119.9. He trails only Russell Wilson (127.7)

19. Since the start of 2021, Minnesota has scored only 10 rushing touchdowns — the third-fewest in the league.

20. When six-point favorites or greater, the Vikings have failed to cover the points spread in four of the last five tries.