3 matchups the Minnesota Vikings need to win in Week 16 vs. the Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson
Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages
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The Minnesota Vikings are currently sitting at 7-7 on the season, but they are still firmly planted in the NFC playoff race.

The Vikings face off this week against the Detroit Lions, a division rival that they are just now playing for the first time this season.

The chances of Minnesota chasing down Detroit to win the NFC North this season are incredibly slim, but that doesn't make this week any less important for either team.

The Vikings have stumbled in recent weeks, and if they have any playoff aspirations, a win on Sunday will go a long way for the team.

There are only three remaining games for Minnesota, so they really need to lock in and end the season strong.

What are some key matchups that the Vikings need to win this week against Detroit in order to secure a victory and keep their playoff hopes alive?

1. Minnesota Vikings pressure vs. Detroit Lions line

Minnesota needs to pressure Lions quarterback Jared Goff on Sunday. It's as simple as that.

The last time that a Brian Flores defense faced Goff, the quarterback turned the ball over four times and completed less than 60 percent of his passes.

Goff has shown that he doesn't function well under pressure, so if the Vikings hope to have any chance against the potent Lions offense this weekend, they need to get to the quarterback.

Detroit boasts one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, so it's going to take a stellar game plan from Flores and even better execution to get in Goff's face.

The good thing is that Minnesota doesn't necessarily even need to sack Goff to make an impact, as just pressure alone causes him to make mistakes.

The idea of pressuring Goff is far easier than actually being able to pull it off, so we will see what the Vikings' defense tries in order to succeed in this task on Sunday.