5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions – Week 14

(Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Everson Griffen
(Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Everson Griffen /
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DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 20: Kyle Rudolph #82 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown with Josh Kline #64 and Pat Elflein #65 while playing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 20, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Minnesota won the game 42-30. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Kyle Rudolph #82 of the Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Rudolph (and perhaps Smith) will find the end zone

Some people may think it’s poetic, but nobody loves the month of December more than Kyle Rudolph. Just as people are singing the catchy Christmas carol, Rudolph seems to start finding the end zone with 12 career touchdown receptions in the month of December. That total is the second-most next to November, which finally surpassed his December total with a scorching hot stretch.

Since Adam Thielen went down, Rudolph has been the one that has stepped up even if his yardage totals have been pedestrian. The 30-year old has scored five touchdowns over his past four games and with Thielen not practicing on Wednesday or Thursday this week, it’s clear they may need another strong performance from Rudolph again.

The good news is they should be able to get it with a Detroit linebacking unit that sorely needs help. Jerad Davis has been a bust up the middle and Christian Jones has allowed an 118.9 quarterback rating when being targeted this season.

With Stefon Diggs likely to be shadowed by Darius Slay, Rudolph and fellow tight end may be the ones that will need to pick up the slack in the passing game. With Smith capable of getting the yards between the 20s and Rudolph able to do damage in the end zone, the duo could be the surprising center of the passing attack.