Detroit News predictions: Lions vs. Vikings

The Detroit News
Lions quarterback Matt Stafford has been sacked 21 times in the last four meetings with the Vikings.

Justin Rogers, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News offer their predictions on the outcome of Sunday's Lions vs. Vikings game at Ford Field (1 p.m., Fox/760 AM).

Justin Rogers: It's tough to figure out how the Lions will respond to a pair of tough losses to the Chiefs and Packers, but this team seems mentally stronger than recent incarnations. That said, the Vikings are hot and their defense is humming. The losing streak hits three. Vikings 22, Lions 19

John Niyo: The Vikings have brutalized Matthew Stafford in recent years, racking up 21 sacks in the last four meetings. But at least now the playbook will give him a chance to fight back, taking shots downfield and utilizing the 12 personnel formations to keep Mike Zimmer honest. Minnesota's offensive surge the last couple weeks may have as much to do with the schedule as anything Kirk Cousins is doing. But if the Lions' run defense doesn't stiffen, that won't matter. Lions 20, Vikings 17

Bob Wojnowski: When Kirk Cousins is on, the Vikings’ offense is scary, with Dalvin Cook running and Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen catching. But Minnesota’s defense might be the bigger concern for a Lions team that can’t run consistently and has stalled repeatedly in the red zone. Tight end T.J. Hockenson was drafted to be a red-zone remedy, and Matthew Stafford has to be sharper when it matters. For the sixth straight game, the Lions will lead in the fourth quarter. For the third time, they’ll hang on. Lions 24, Vikings 20