News & Analysis

NFL Week 12 Preview: Vikings at Lions

By PFF Analysis Team
Nov 23, 2017

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Nov 12, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) pass during the first quarter against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings visit the Detroit Lions in Week 12 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.

PFFELO Ranking: 8

Coverage by: Elliott Rooney

Matchup: Minnesota Vikings offense vs. Detroit Lions defense

Case Keenum, quarterback, Minnesota Vikings

PFFELO Ranking: 15

Coverage by: Brett Whitefield

Matchup: Detroit Lions offense vs. Minnesota Vikings defense

  • G Graham Glasgow vs. DI Linval Joseph – When these two teams met in Week 4, Glasgow and Joseph almost missed each other with Joseph lining up on the left side on 32 of 43 snaps. Glasgow pitched a perfect game in pass-protection, not allowing a single pressure on the quarterback while Joseph produced two pressures and five stops. Over the last three weeks however, Joseph has spent much more of his time on lining up on the right side, 66 percent of his snaps, giving this potential matchup some steam heading into this week. Glasgow has improved his play steadily this season and now ranks 22nd among guards with an overall grade of 75.6. He has been solid in both pass protection and as a run blocker; his pass-blocking efficiency of 97.1 is the top mark among Lions offensive lineman. Joseph on the other hand has been dominant at times this season, especially stopping the run. His run-stop percentage of 12.9 ranks third among interior defenders.
  • WR Marvin Jones vs. CB Xavier Rhodes – Jones’ four touchdowns on deep targets (20-plus yards downfield) are tied for the most in the NFL. His nine receptions and 285 yards rank fourth and sixth receptively. Jones’ play has been on the rise ever since a poor Week 4 performance against the Vikings in which he posted a game grade of 44.3. He has produced a grade of 75.0 or better in four of his last six games, including an 89.8 game grade in Week 9. After an early season struggle with penalties and costly mistakes, Rhodes’ play has been much better of late. Currently he ranks just outside of the top-20 positionally with an overall grade of 82.4. Not having given up a reception on a deep target since Week 2, Rhodes makes for an exciting matchup in an attempt to cool Jones down.
  • RB Theo Riddick vs. LB Eric Kendricks – While he hasn’t quite been as utilized this season as seasons past, Riddick has produced the 12th highest receiving grade among running backs with a mark of 80.4. Riddick has also produced a yards per route run average of 1.72, the ninth highest mark among running backs with at least 25 targets. Riddick has been a tough to get on the ground this season and with 20 forced missed tackles on just 73 touches he has produced a forced missed tackle to touch ratio of 27.3 percent, the third highest among running backs with at least 60 touches. This could be a problem for Kendricks, who enters Thursdays matchup ranking just 90th out of 119 qualifiers in tackling efficiency with a mark of 7.2. While defending the pass he has missed seven tackles on just 27 tackle attempts. His overall grade of 46.3 ranks 59th among linebackers.

Theo Riddick, running back, Detroit Lions

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