Michael Pierce vs. D’Andre Swift
This offseason, the Vikings brought in the “Juggernaut” Michael Pierce to be the primary run-stuffer in the middle of their defense. Pierce excelled in this role with the Baltimore Ravens and he will be expected to play at the high level that Linval Joseph displayed out on the field with Minnesota for so many years.
While there are a lot of great running backs in the NFC North that Pierce will be facing for the first time, one of the newer ones will be the rookie the Lions selected in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft, D’Andre Swift.
Swift is an extremely patient runner with great vision. He will wait for a hole to develop and then burst through it to pick up a huge gain. He has great lateral agility and he can make guys miss. He’s also an asset in the passing game and he will surely be a target for Detroit quarterback Matt Stafford coming out of the backfield.
It’ll be Pierce’s job to help slow the opposing running game every week for the Vikings. He’ll need to be patient when playing this exciting rookie of the Lions though. If he’s over-aggressive, Swift could make one cut and then be gone for a big gain.
Pierce will need to fight off his blockers while trying to keep containment and not get out of his lane. This will be an exciting battle to watch for many years to come and we’ll see the first couple of chapters of it in 2020.