The Minnesota Vikings will head to Detroit on Thursday to play the Lions and attempt to avenge one of their two losses this season.
Back in Week 4 after their 14-7 loss to the Detroit Lions, no one would have likely believed that the Minnesota Vikings would win their next six games without their starting quarterback or starting running back. However, that is exactly how the rest of the Vikings’ 2017 season has turned out since falling to the Lions in Week 4.
Coming off a big 24-7 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Minnesota now has just three days to prepare for their second meeting of the year with Detroit on Thursday in a Thanksgiving showdown. The Lions have had the Vikings number since Mike Zimmer became Minnesota’s head coach, winning five of the last seven meetings between the two teams since 2014.
Playing on Thursdays has not exactly played out well for the Vikings recently either. Minnesota’s last win on a Thursday came in 2013 and that is the team’s only victory in their last eight Thursday games since 2001.
But those games are in the past and this season’s team seems much more prepared to go into Detroit on Thanksgiving and come out with a win.
So how badly do the Vikings need a victory on Thursday?
Well since they are currently 8-2 and probably only need another win or two to get a spot in the playoffs, a loss this week would not be the worst thing in the world. However, if they want to have a legitimate shot at playing in a Super Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium this year, then Thursday’s result is pretty important.
Based on the fact that the Lions are in both Minnesota’s division and their conference, the outcome of this week’s matchup could have a tremendous effect on how the Vikings enter the postseason.
Get a win and the hope for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs (and the Super Bowl) remains very much alive. But lose to Detroit and the Vikings may miss out the possibility of earning a first-round bye in the postseason.
Based on the way each team has been playing recently, (Lions 3-3 in last six games, Minnesota 6-0) a Vikings win seems more likely than not. But as Zimmer and his team know from past matchups with Detroit, a Minnesota victory this Thursday is far from a guarantee.