Sunday will mark the end of a lot of things for the Purple.
We'll get to all of them, but most literally, it will spell the end of a hideous season that has left much to be desired in every aspect of the game.
Here is your full Week 17 preview of the floundering Lions visiting the never-not-floundering Vikings.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: Plenty. First and foremost, a lasting, positive memory of the Metrodome. This will be Minnesota's last game in the stadium they've called home for 31 years, and Jared Allen, among others, want this game to be "special." Speaking of Allen, this could also be his last game in a Vikings uniform. If it is, he'd like to end his Minnesota career on a high note, and Kevin Williams is in the same boat. Next, there's the obvious "elephant in the room," Leslie Frazier's job. Frazier addressed the situation earlier this week, but even with a win, there may be no saving him at this point. In short, jobs and good memories will be on the line Sunday, and even the jobs part may already be decided.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET: Week 1 of the year, when there was still hope. An off-the-wall, topsy-turvy game that could've gone either way saw Minnesota give up 469 yards, 191 of those to Reggie Bush, in a 34-24 loss to Detroit. Offensively, Adrian Peterson had three total touchdowns, topped only by Christian Ponder's four turnovers. Thank goodness those days are over.
PLAYER IN THE SPOTLIGHT: It doesn't really matter. It could be Adrian Peterson, who admitted he was uncomfortable running the football last week against the Bengals. It could be Matt Cassel, who is using this game as an audition for future NFL opportunities. In all actuality, both of these head coaches are probably without jobs next year, and whatever player is in the spotlight on the field might not be able to do anything about that.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: There are plenty to choose from, but we'll go to the opposite side of the ball for this one.
The season not being a failure is the quote we're going with, and clearly some disagree, as Detroit started the season 6-3 and have lost five of their last six to choke away a completely mediocre NFC North.
For those wondering, a "jamoke" is described on Urban Dictionary as "a clumsy loser incapable of doing normal human tasks."
That's not nice.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: More on Schwartz.
Wow. Here's a few other bits.
"Megatron" calls the Lions season "unfortunate" when talking to the Detroit News.
Here's a story on Matt Veldman, a Becker, Minnesota native, that will be making his NFL debut this week against his home state's team.
Finally, the Lions say they're playing for pride this week, and "nothing else matters." Has to be a rough feeling. Wait, it is, we know the same feeling.
INJURY REPORT: Plenty is still unknown on both sides of the ball, mainly with the biggest name on each team having questions surrounding their health. Peterson, who has missed just one start in the last two seasons, said earlier this week that his mindset is to play Sunday, with Friday coming as a key day in his progression towards that goal as he battles groin and foot injuries. As for Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, he has still not practiced this week while dealing with a knee ailment, and with Detroit already eliminated from playoff contention, he may not see the field either.
THE LATEST LINE: At last check, Bovada had the Vikings favored against the 7-8 Lions by three.
PREDICTION: There's simply no way the Vikings lose this game. If you are in the business of gambling, or just want to make a quick buck, go to the roulette table and throw it all on Purple. The want to close out the Dome the right way, send Leslie Frazier off in a nice way, and the Lions recent run of terrible play all adds up to the Purple's fifth win of the year, and we don't think it's close. Vikings win 38-13.