This week, as the Lions try to snap what has snowballed into an elongated five game losing streak, they will have to do so as heavy underdogs. The Vikings, coming off a road loss on Monday Night Football, are whopping 13 point favorites against the Lions according to Vegas Insider.
Detroit is already 0-1 against Minnesota this season having lost in October at Ford Field. This will be another game where Detroit is considerable underdogs against a team that has far and away a much better record.
Detroit’s Meetings With Minnesota
The Lions have struggled against the Vikings lately. They are losers of four in a row against Minnesota, including this season’s 42-30 shootout. In that game, Marvin Jones scored 4 touchdowns, but Detroit’s defense let the team down by not being able to generate a stop. The last time the Lions beat the Vikings was October 1, 2017 on the road. Last season, the team had a tough time generating offense while on the road against the Vikings, losing 27-9.
In this matchup, the Lions will be without multiple top players on offense and defense, and that will make the challenge of winning even greater. Obviously, this is what the oddsmakers see with the early line of this contest, including the recent history of the rivalry.
Should Lions Tank to Finish 2019?
In terms of their record, the Lions are in an interesting predicament. Matthew Stafford has a painful back injury he’s fighting that might not be as debilitating long term as it initially sounded. As a result, Stafford could return in a few weeks to give the team some much needed juice, even though he probably shouldn’t. Do the Lions still have a shot at the playoffs? With three teams ahead of them in the NFC North and other contenders with better records, the hopes would seemingly on the surface be slim at this point, meaning many will contend the team should decide to tank for the chances of a better draft selection.
Detroit isn’t likely to outwardly give up on their 2019 season with the sole purpose of the 2020 draft even if it makes sense, but should the team keep losing, a higher pick is merely another advantage of some short term pain. This coming season, the Lions could use more defensive help most of all in addition to some depth at wide receiver, quarterback, running back and along the offensive line.
As it stands today, Detroit has seven picks in the 2020 draft. They added an extra fifth round selection after dealing Quandre Diggs this past trade deadline. Detroit traded a 2020 seventh round pick for Eli Harold entering the 2018 season.
While many things can and will change, for now, Detroit’s own selections are trending to be on the higher side for next year, and now are within the top 10 for the moment. Another loss to the Vikings might only help the team continue to surge in the draft standings.