5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions – Week 17

(Photo by Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Alexander Mattison – Minnesota Vikings /

Alexander Mattison will end 2020 on a positive note

2020 was a rough year for many Vikings, but Alexander Mattison‘s season is one that can be placed high on the list. After coming into the season off a promising rookie campaign, it was believed that the Boise State product could carve out a role behind Dalvin Cook.

Instead, it’s been a series of disappointments. Mattison looked great in the Vikings’ Week 5 loss in Seattle, but couldn’t convert a fourth-and-1 which led to a game-winning drive from Russell Wilson. The following week, Mattison got the start when Cook suffered a groin injury but only managed 26 yards on 10 carries in a loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Then he missed two games with appendicitis and has received six carries since Week 9.

The good news for Mattison is that he can end the season on a high note when he starts against the Lions. With Cook out due to his father’s death, Mattison should get the bulk of the carries against a Detroit defense that ranks 26th in Football Outsiders defensive DVOA metric against the run.

If Mattison can put up a performance similar to what he did against the Lions in Week 9 (12 carries, 69 yards), he could make his case to have an increased role in 2021.