Game facts: Vikings at Lions

NFL Research takes a look at some key facts and stats to prepare for the Vikings-Lions matchup on Thanksgiving Day. The winner of this game will take sole possession of first place in the NFC North.

Game time:  Thursday, November 24 at 12:30 p.m. ET

Game location:  Ford Field

TV:  CBS

Lions at home:  4-1

Vikings on the road:  2-3

Season series:  Lions lead 1-0 (won 22-16 in overtime in Week 9)


Game facts: Minnesota Vikings

Happy Thanksgivings:  The Vikings are 5-1 all-time in Thanksgiving Day games. 

Turnovers on point:  The Vikings are tied with the Chiefs for the best turnover differential in the NFL (+13).

Strong defense/special teams:  25.0 percent of Minnesota's TDs this year have come on defense and special teams (three from each). 

Bringing pressure:  The Vikings defense has two of the top seven players in QB hits this season (Tom Johnson is T-4th in NFL with 18 QB hits; Everson Griffen is T-6th in NFL with 17). 

Pass protection issues:  Sam Bradford has taken 7.2 QB hits per game this season (4th-most in NFL). 

No ground game:  The Vikings are averaging 2.7 yards per carry this season (fewest yards per rush in franchise history). 

Run defense slumping:  In Weeks 1-5, Minnesota allowed 77.8 rush yards per game. In Weeks 7-11, the Vikings have allowed 123.8 rush yards per game. 


Game facts: Detroit Lions

Happy Thanksgivings:  Detroit has won three straight games on Thanksgiving Day. 

Close calls:  The 2016 Lions are the first team in NFL history to have each of their first 10 games decided by 7 or fewer points. 

Mind-blowing stat:  Only two NFL teams have trailed in the fourth quarter of every game this season: the Lions (6-4 record) and the Browns (0-11 record). 

Stafford surging:  Since Week 8 of last season (when Jim Bob Cooter was hired as the Lions' offensive coordinator), Matthew Stafford has a TD-INT ratio of 38-9. 

Problematic secondary:  The Lions defense is allowing opposing QBs to complete 73.0 percent of their passes (would be highest completion percentage allowed for a full season since 1970 merger). 

No ground game:  The Lions are the only team in the NFL that hasn't had a 100-yard rusher since Jim Caldwell was hired in 2014 (42 games).

TBT:  The last time the Lions had a 100-yard rusher was Thanksgiving Day 2013, when Reggie Bush had 117 against the Packers

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