Minnesota Vikings (6-5) at Detroit Lions (4-7)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
TV: FOX, Curt Menefee, JC Pearson
89th meeting. The Vikings lead the series 57-29-2, and they beat the Lions 27-14 on Nov. 6 at the Metrodome. That victory started the Vikings' four-game winning streak. The Vikings have more wins against the Lions than against any other team, and Mike Tice is 7-0 against Detroit.
Vikings: offense 25th (24th rush, 20th pass); defense 28th (15th rush, 25th pass).
Lions: offense 27th (25th rush, 25th pass); defense 14th (26th rush, 11th pass)
KEYS TO THE GAME
QB Jeff Garcia gets the start for the Lions against a Vikings defense that has shored up its secondary and increased its pass rush during the team's four-game winning streak. With Detroit's offensive line struggling, Garcia provides more mobility than Joey Harrington. Minnesota coach Mike Tice has talked all week about not knowing what to expect from the Lions' offense following the firing of coach Steve Mariucci. But regardless of how limited RB Kevin Jones is by a quad injury, expect Detroit to stick with the running game longer than in recent games in order to ease the pressure on the line.
The Vikings' offense has been very efficient under QB Brad Johnson, but he doesn't have the arm strength to threaten the Lions' secondary deep. If Detroit can bottle up the running game and avoid allowing Johnson to set up play-action, the Vikings could have trouble moving the ball with any consistency.
Vikings: FS Darren Sharper has a single-season franchise record 265 returns yards on interceptions, breaking Jimmy Hitchcock's 242 in 1998. ... Seek series sweep for fourth consecutive season.
Lions: DE Kalimba Edwards has a career-high seven sacks. ... Garcia needs 300 passing yards to reach 19,000 for his career.
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