3 keys to victory for the Vikings at the Lions in Week 17

(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Alexander Mattison
(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Alexander Mattison /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Jefferson – Minnesota Vikings /

60. 5-10. 50. Vikings -4. 12 PM CT. 6-9. FOX. Sunday, Jan 3

Here are the keys to victory for the Minnesota Vikings at the Lions.

An eventful and often turbulent 2020 season will come to a conclusion for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Their Week 17 game at the Detroit Lions probably won’t go down in the record books with nothing but personal pride at stake. However, there are plenty of players fighting for their careers on both sides ahead of what is sure to be another busy offseason period.

The Vikings came into the campaign with high expectations and have failed to meet them. There was a glimmer of hope they’d make the postseason after making some substantial improvements at the bye week. But their 1-5 record to start the season eventually came back to haunt them and simply left them with a little too much to do.

Each member of the roster won’t want to end on a sour note at a Detroit team that was recently embarrassed 47-7 at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Minnesota knows plenty about what that feeling is like, so expect to see plenty of effort from both squads before they head off on their lengthy break.

Here are four keys to victory for the Vikings as they look to bring the curtain down on the season with a positive finish.

Key to Victory No. 1

Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Zimmer – Minnesota Vikings /

Defensive improvements

After the Christmas Day horror show at the Saints, head coach Mike Zimmer will no doubt have read the riot act to his players on defense for their unacceptable performance. Plenty of them are on their final warning and another lackluster display could be the difference between getting an extended stay of being shown the door.

Zimmer has always prided himself on tough defense, something that’s been sorely lacking where the Vikings are concerned in 2020. This was somewhat expected with so many veterans moving on during the offseason and not having stud defensive end Danielle Hunter to call upon was another crushing blow they haven’t really gotten over.

That being said, there are no excuses for the same sort of production we saw in New Orleans, especially in their lack of ability to stop the run.