5 bold Minnesota Vikings predictions for Week 18 vs. the Detroit Lions

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
3 of 6

Bold Vikings Prediction No. 2

Alexander Mattison will record his first rushing touchdown

Alexander Mattison’s tour as a top running back hasn’t gone as the Vikings expected when they re-signed him to a two-year deal last March.

Mattison has just 676 rushing yards in 15 games this season and is averaging only 3.9 yards per attempt.

In addition to averaging under four yards per carry for the third straight year, Mattison ranks 44th out of 63 qualifiers in PFF’s rushing grades and is 36th out of 47 qualifiers with a 45.7 percent success rate, according to Pro Football Reference.

But the most astonishing stat about Mattison’s season is that he’s failed to score a rushing touchdown.

No running back in Vikings history has failed to score a rushing touchdown with a minimum of Mattison’s 173 carries, and he would need to score twice on Sunday to tie Alfred Anderson (1984), Dave Osborn (1967), and Robert Smith (1999) for the lowest rushing touchdown total in a single season with at least 173 carries.

While Mattison has three receiving touchdowns on the season, he hasn’t found the end zone on a rushing attempt since picking up two rushing touchdowns in the 2022 regular-season finale against the Chicago Bears.

While the Lions have only allowed 15 rushing touchdowns on the season, Minnesota head coach Kevin O’Connell might look to get Mattison on the board if he has the opportunity on Sunday.