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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2. Minnesota Vikings run game vs. Detroit Lions run defense

The Lions' defense is much improved from years prior.

One of their biggest improvements is against the run, which does not bode well for Minnesota this week.

Minnesota was able to move the ball well against the Cincinnati Bengals last week due to their rushing attack being successful.

But if that is slowed down heavily this week, that could cause issues for the Vikings offense.

If Minnesota wants to win, they will need to find a way to get creative and run the ball effectively.

The Vikings' passing game worked best last week off of play-action, but if their rushing attack is nonexistent, the play-action won't work well either.

This isn't the same Minnesota offense that can just sling the ball around the field with Kirk Cousins under center.

Though Detroit's secondary isn't stellar, it's much harder for the Vikings to rely on Nick Mullens to go out there and tear opposing defenses apart.

Mullens is a solid game manager, but it's too much to ask of him to put Minnesota's offense on his back.

The Vikings will need to get creative with their run game to try and find a winning formula because if they can't run the ball effectively this week, their chances of winning are slim to none.