The NFL's feast of football begins on Thanksgiving Day with a huge NFC North showdown that pretty much no one saw coming before the regular season started.
On Detroit's end, the Lions are 6-4 despite the fact that they've trailed in the fourth quarter of every game they've played in this season. To that in perspective, the only other team that's trailed in the fourth quarter of every game they've played in is the Cleveland Browns, and we've seen how well that's worked out for them.
The Lions have beaten the odds thanks in large part to Matthew Stafford, who's fifth in the NFL with a QB rating of 101.2. Stafford has played a big part in Detroit's six fourth-quarter comebacks this season, including an improbable win in Week 9 over the Vikings where he led the Lions on a 35-yard drive in just 23 seconds that led to a game-tying 58-yard field goal by Matt Prater. The Lions would eventually win the game in overtime thanks to another Stafford drive.
Overall, the Lions have six fourth-quarter comebacks in their first 10 games, making them the only team in NFL history that's ever done that.
Unlike the Lions, the Vikings are atop the division despite their offense. The Vikings' 30-24 win over the Cardinals in Week 11 was a great example of how they've been winning games this season. Even though they got an ugly performance from their offense -- just 217 total yards -- the Vikings won because they got a touchdown from both their defense and their special teams.
Getting a score from their defense every week was a big reason the Vikings were able to start 5-0 and it seems that their fans have come to accept that.
If we don't score a defensive or special teams touchdown we are going to lose. That is the 2016 Minnesota Vikings.— Jake Brutlag (@BrutGuy) November 1, 2016
The defense and special teams have been so good this year for the Vikings that they've won two games despite putting up 220 or fewer yards on offense. As a matter of fact, the Vikings are 2-0 when they put up 220 or fewer yards while the rest of the NFL is 0-10 combined this year.
In those 10 losses, the other NFL teams are averaging just 9.7 points when their offense puts up 220 or fewer years. On the other hand, the Vikings are somehow averaging 26 points per game in the two games where they put up 220 or fewer yards.
As we said before, these two teams are both having improbable seasons and one of them is going to have sole possession of first place heading into Week 13 after Thursday.
If you won't be around a television on Thanksgiving, remember that you'll be able to watch this game through CBSSports.com on almost every streaming device you own (except your cell phone). You can see the full list below.
How to Watch
- What: Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions
- When: Thursday, Nov. 24, 12:30 p.m. ET
- Where: Ford Field, Detroit Michigan
- TV: CBS (Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on the call, Tracy Wolfson on the sideline)
- Online: You'll be able to stream this game live on CBSSports.com by clicking through to this link. Although you won't be able to watch on your phone or through the CBS Sports app, you'll be able to watch on almost any other device, including: Apple TV, Roku, XBox One, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast
- Odds: The Lions are are 2.5-point favorites (via SportsLine)
- DT Sharrif Floyd (knee) -- Out
- CB Terence Newman (neck) -- Doubtful
- CB Marcus Sherels (rib/ankle) -- Out
- S Harrison Smith (ankle) -- Questionable
- WR Stefon Diggs (knee) -- Questionable
- LB Eric Kendricks (hip) -- Questionable
- CB Captain Munnerlyn (ankle) -- Questionable
- DE Ezekiel Ansah (ankle) -- Questionable
- DB Don Carey (hamstring) -- Questionable
- OL Graham Glasgow (knee) -- Questionable
- LB DeAndre Levy (knee) -- Questionable
- RB Theo Riddick (ankle) -- Questionable
- DT Khyri Thornton (foot) -- Questionable
This is for first place in the NFC North, a huge Thanksgiving Day game for both teams. The Vikings broke a four-game losing streak last week, while the Lions edged the Jaguars. The Vikings won with special teams and defense. That won't be the case here. This will be close, but I like the Lions at home.
Pick: Lions 21, Vikings 20