PFF Preview: Lions @ Vikings, Week 6

There is just one game between the top and bottom of the NFC North and the Lions and Vikings face off on Sunday. Chris Phillips previews the matchup, providing some ...

| 3 years ago

PFF Preview: Lions @ Vikings, Week 6

2014-Prev-WK06-DET@MINOnly one game currently separates all four NFC North teams, and the division race heats up as the Minnesota Vikings play host to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

The Lions are coming off of a crushing 17-14 home loss to Buffalo last week, after giving up 17 unanswered points and may have also lost Calvin Johnson for this game as his status is still up in the air. The Vikings didn’t fare any better last week dropping a division game on the road to Green Bay 42-10. However, they should get a boost by having rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater back in the lineup.

With Johnson limited or out, a key battle to watch this week will happen in the slot. Captain Munnerlyn has been the Vikings slot cornerback and has posted mixed results. Per our Slot Performance data, he has only been targeted once every 10.8 coverage snaps, but has allowed 10-of-12 targets to be completed for 138 yards and three touchdowns. He likely gets the tough assignment of matching up with Golden Tate this week as our WR Slot Performance stats shows Tate in the slot for 65.4% of his routes. When in the slot, he has hauled in 14 receptions for 236 yards, and his 1.92 Yards Per Route Run ranks third.

Here are a few more names to look out for.

Detroit Lions

Larry Warford – Trying to follow up on a stellar rookie season, Warford’s +4.6 pass block grade ranks third overall among guards, and his 98% Pass Block Efficiency comes in at 12th.

Rashean Mathis – His +5.3 coverage grade ties him for fourth out of all cornerbacks. He has only allowed 50% of his targets to be completed and has a 62.1 quarterback rating when thrown at.

DeAndre Levy – PFF’s third highest graded 4-3 outside backer has provided some stellar work in the run game. His 22 run stops and 19.3% Run Stop Percentage both rank atop his position.

Minnesota Vikings

Harrison Smith – Smith is currently the highest graded safety at +8.8 overall. His six total passes defensed and interceptions also lead the position.

Gerald Hodges – Chad Greenway’s status is still up in the air for Sunday. Hodges has filled in nicely in run support with a +2.8 grade. His 10.9% Run Stop Percentage ranks 10th at the 4-3 outside linebacker position.

Teddy Bridgewater – Bridgewater should be back in action this week. Despite not playing in three games, his +1.5 overall grade still ranks him at 14th overall, and he is currently the highest graded rookie quarterback.

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