5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions – Week 3

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) D’Andre Swift /

D’Andre Swift will average at least 5 yards per carry

One of the biggest flaws of the Vikings’ defense is their struggles against the run.

In Week 1, Minnesota allowed 6.2 yards per carry in their win over the Packers. The same problems continued against the Eagles in Week 2 as they averaged 4.8 yards per carry against the Vikings. While that effort was lifted by the dual-threat ability of Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts (11 carries, 57 yards, 2 touchdowns).

Minnesota’s biggest problem has been their usage of personnel. Playing with a nickel defense, they’ve left themselves vulnerable with a six-man box in favor of stopping big plays in the passing game. Put it all together, and the Vikings have allowed 5.3 yards per carry over the first two weeks of the 2022 season, which is the fifth-highest clip in the NFL.

This could be a huge advantage for the Lions. Detroit is coming into Sunday’s game averaging an NFL-best 7.2 yards per carry and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson has done a tremendous job getting the most out of running backs, D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams.

Minnesota could have even more bad news if Swift has recovered from an ankle injury. The third-year back averaged 9.6 yards per carry on 15 attempts in Detroit’s loss to the Eagles in Week 1 and over 11 yards per attempt on five carries in the win over the Commanders in Week 2. He also has practiced in full twice this week, signaling it will be all systems go on Sunday.

Swift has a similar skill set to Green Bay running back Aaron Jones, who gashed the Vikings for 9.2 yards per carry in Week 1, so he could be a big problem come Sunday. If Minnesota isn’t careful, they could risk being dominated on the ground for the third straight week.