Each week, BringMeTheNews will analyze the Vikings’ upcoming game from both sides, and give you “5 reasons the Vikings should be concerned.” This week the Vikings travel to Detroit to play the Lions.
For Five reasons the Vikings will beat the Detroit Lions, click here.
5. Nothing to play for
It's official, the Minnesota Vikings are out of the playoff chase. Despite winning their last two games, and the chance to close the season on a five-game winning streak, the Minnesota Vikings are not going to the Super Bowl this year.
Arizona's victory over St. Louis on Thursday night sealed Minnesota's fate by locking them out of the playoffs.
After reaching the playoffs in both 2008 and 2009, the Vikings have qualified for them just once since – 2012.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said being eliminated from the playoffs doesn't change anything.
The news wasn't a real big surprise for the team either.
"Last week, we realized that it was a very, very, very slim chance we would make (the playoffs) anyway, so for us nothing changes," defensive end Brian Robison told the Pioneer Press. "It's really about going out there and trying to get better and every single week and win these next three ballgames."
4. Recipe for a Minnesota let down
Vikings fans have seen the pattern for years, win a big game or two at home, then go on the road and lose a tough one.
Winning in Detroit to extend a winning streak to three games, just isn't what the Vikings do. The last time the Vikings won three straight games came at the end of the 2012 season when Adrian Peterson made his MVP push and Christian Ponder was still the Vikings quarterback of the future.
Times have really changed.
They won four straight at the end of the regular season that year including a victory at home against Green Bay to qualify for the playoffs.
Do you know what happened next? They went on the road and lost in Lambeau in the wild card.
3. Vikings invade the 'Lions Den' shorthanded
The Vikings will be missing some key starters when they travel to Detroit and try to deal a serious blow to the Lions NFC North Division championship hopes.
According to FOX Sports Net, the Vikings will be without four starters in Detroit on Sunday. Linebacker Anthony Barr, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, safety Robert Blanton and left guard Charlie Johnson have all been ruled out.
None of the four practiced all week.
Floyd and Barr have been battling nagging knee injuries, while Johnson is the third starter along the Vikings offensive line that has been lost due to injury.
2. Lions unbeaten in the division
This isn't the lovable loser Detroit Lions of yesterday that we talked about in the 5 reasons the Vikings will beat the Detroit Lions post.
This isn't the team that lost six of its final seven games to close out another disappointing season last year.
Instead, these Lions are 9-4 and trail only Green Bay in the NFC North. Yahoo! Sports notes they are 6-1 at home and are 3-0 in the NFC North, which includes a 17-3 victory over the Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium.
"It's a new day. He said it from the beginning, coach (Jim) Caldwell, put it on Caldwell," center Dominic Raiola said this week. "We keep doing it every week and it's getting fun around here. The more we just worry about what's going on right now, handle the day, the better off we're going to be."
1. Terrorizing Teddy
When kids go to bed at night, many times they hug their teddy to protect them from nightmares or other scary things in the night.
What does Teddy Bridgewater do when he is having nightmares? If ever there was a week when the Vikings young quarterback might be rattled it's this week.
The Lions terrorized Bridgewater in their first meeting this season, sacking the highly-touted rookie eight times and getting the young signal caller to throw three interceptions.
Add to it that the Vikings are down three starters along the offensive line this week and Bridgewater should be scared.
Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner said Thursday that Bridgewater will have to get the ball out quickly against Detroit, but how Teddy handles Detroit's pass rush could go a long way to determining a winner.