After losing to the Browns, Mike Zimmer told reporters that he believed the Vikings were a good team. At 1-3, his team is running out of time to validate his claim.
Enter the Lions.
Detroit comes into Sunday's game with an 0-4 record and has several players out due to injury. The Vikings should be able to dominate this game but what can we expect when these teams hit the field?
1. Danielle Hunter dominating the Lions
For everything that has gone wrong in the first four games, Hunter has been one of the bright spots for the Vikings. With five sacks in the first four games, Hunter has returned to the form that made him one of the NFL's most dominant pass rushers.
On Sunday, Hunter gets to square off against a team he has terrorized throughout his career. He has more sacks (11) against the Lions than any other team and with Taylor Decker, Frank Ragnow and Penei Sewell all out due to injury, the entire defensive line should be able to eat.
But with Hunter's resume, it should be another opportunity to tame the Lions.
2. A monster game for Justin Jefferson
The injuries aren't just along Detroit's offensive line. Their secondary has been torched this season after Jeffrey Okudah went down with a torn Achilles tendon.
That's left Amani Oruariye and former UDFA Billy Price starting at cornerback, both of who rank 80th and 84th respectively in Pro Football Focus' defensive grades.
While Adam Thielen could also have a big day, it's especially true for Jefferson, who will match up with Price. With the Norfolk State alum allowing 2.41 yards per coverage snap, it should lead to the type of game that helped Jefferson take the league by storm a year ago.
3. Dalvin Cook won't be 100 percent
After racking up 131 yards in Week 2, Cook hasn't been the same as he deals with a high ankle sprain. Although he sat out the following week, Cook didn't look as explosive against the Browns and finished with 34 yards and nine carries.
When speaking to reporters this week, Cook said the injury is something he'll have to deal with throughout the season and he missed two days of practice before getting in a limited session on Friday.
At some point, the Vikings need to consider the possibility of overusing Cook. With Mattison as a capable backup, it would be reasonable if Zimmer decided to hold him out. The Vikings don't need Cook to beat Detroit but with Zimmer's back to the wall, there's a good chance he hits the field.
4. Dan Campbell going for it on fourth down
If there's one thing we've learned about Campbell, it's that he's willing to go for it on fourth down. According to Matt Derry on the Locked On Lions podcast, Detroit is the 11th team since 1991 to have 10 or more fourth-down conversion attempts in the first four games.
The last team to accomplish this was the 2015 Miami Dolphins, who fired Joe Philbin after four games and replaced him with tight ends coach...Dan Campbell.
Although Campbell trusts his players, the Lions are just 3-for-10 on fourth down this season. That could lead to Campbell giving the Vikings a gift and make their Sunday much easier.
5. An irrelevant 60 minutes of football
The Vikings need to win this game, but it won't do anything to prove Zimmer's claim that this is a team better than their 1-3 record.
Zimmer has dominated the Lions with seven straight wins by an average of 12 points per game. With Kirk Cousins collecting six of those victories, the Lions are the perfect "get right" opponent for the Vikings.
But the Lions are rolling out their second string and this is a game the Vikings should win. Even though Zimmer will get up to the podium and flex after a win, it doesn't tell us anything. Next week's matchup in Carolina should be a lot more impactful in that regard.