Vikings @ Lions
Final Score: Lions 29, Vikings 27
Writer: Justin Herrera (@Semtexmex93 on Twitter)
The Minnesota Vikings went on the road this week to play the Detroit Lions in an NFC North showdown. The main injuries in this game were D’Andre Swift and Dalvin Cook who were both out with shoulder injuries. This was an action-packed game that saw the Lions win on the last play of the game. This was a much-needed win for the Lions, and Michigan fans, as coach Campbell dedicated the win to the Oxford shooting victims, truly a heartwarming moment. The game result was Detroit Lions 29, Minnesota Vikings 27.
Kirk Cousins: 30/40, 340 yards, 2 TD | 2 carries, 6 yards
Kirk Cousins hits Justin Jefferson for 48 yards. Jefferson is just a special, special talent. pic.twitter.com/6suDZe9Y4L
— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) December 5, 2021
Kirk Cousins had a damn good day but just couldn’t pull out the win in this game. 185 of Cousins’ yards came from targeting Justin Jefferson on Sunday. The main reasons Cousins didn’t come away with the win in this game were his inability to cash in on a touchdown on the second drive of the game, his fumble in the Lions’ territory, and his inability to convert a fourth and 10 that should have been a punt.
The second half for Cousins is where he came alive, scoring on four of his five drives. Throwing touchdown passes to both KJ Osborn and Justin Jefferson. While leading the Vikings back from a 20-7 deficit to a 27-23 lead going into the final Lions drive where Jared Goff took over and threw the game-winning TD to Amon-Ra St. Brown. This game was a classic Kirk Cousins game, with lots of stats but still being unable to pull out the win.
Alexander Mattison: 20 carries, 90 yards, TD | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 24 yards
Kene Nwangwu: 2 carries | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 4 yards
Alexander Mattison powering his way into the end zone
— Awesemo Fantasy Football (@AwesemoFantasy) December 5, 2021
Alexander Mattison did about as well as you could’ve asked for in this game against the Lions. He rushed for 90 yards and tacked on an eight-yard rushing TD. Mattison was also a threat in the receiving game, catching passes of 14 and 16 yards. Mattison ran the ball well in this game but maybe should’ve done more work in a good matchup. It, unfortunately, wasn’t totally his fault, as the 2nd half game script was not in his favor once Minnesota was trying to fight back from a double-digit deficit. Still though, under four yards per carry against the Lions isn’t exactly what we were all hoping for. The Lions simply showed up to play on Sunday. As long as Dalvin Cook is out, Mattison should be a very solid RB2 option in fantasy.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Justin Jefferson: 14 targets, 11 receptions, 185 yards, TD | 1 carry, 4 yards
Tyler Conklin: 9 targets, 7 receptions, 56 yards
KJ Osborn: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 47 yards, TD
CJ Ham: 1 target, 1 reception, 19 yards
Adam Thielen: 2 targets, 1 reception
Justin Jefferson has been UNSTOPPABLE today. #SKOL
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) December 5, 2021
Justin Jefferson is the best wide receiver in the game and it’s starting to show more and more this year. He engulfed all the targets that were supposed to be for him and Adam Thielen, who had one reception for no yards. Jefferson has a rare mix of physical gifts: he’s tall and lanky, he’s fast, has amazing footwork, and gets too much separation. He was everywhere in this game, catching short, intermediate, and deep routes. Some of his highlights included a three-yard TD and a 43-yard bomb. On his way to an 11 catch, 185-yard day. Jefferson is your WR1 going forward, no question.
Back to Thielen, he left this game early with what appears to be a high ankle sprain and will very likely miss their Thursday night matchup against the Steelers, and possibly more. This is tough news for the TD machine but good news for anyone who rosters Jefferson.
Tyler Conklin was the number two guy in this game, catching a 19-yard dump-off to start the game. Conklin was called on in this game usually on third down, receiving three receptions for 28 yards on third downs. KJ Osborn was also heavily targeted in this game and collected a five-yard TD to bring his day to fantasy relevance. Both of these options, especially Osborn, should see an uptick in targets as long as Thielen is out.
Jared Goff: 25/41, 296 yards, 3 TD, INT | 2 carries, 1 yard
CRACK OPEN THE COOLERS, DETROIT🍻
JARED GOFF AND THE LIONS TAKE THE W‼️ pic.twitter.com/xphHPPj8Sr
— The Game Day NFL (@TheGameDayNFL) December 5, 2021
Jared Goff had one of his better games of the season. After turning it over on downs and going three and out on the Lions’ first two drives, Goff got to work. Hitting T.J. Hockenson across the middle for 25 yards, while getting hit after the throw. The unnecessary roughness call put the Lions in prime position to throw a nine-yard touchdown to Hockenson. On the very next drive, Goff came out and continued his success, hitting Josh Reynolds on a 10-yard slant that he ran for 28. This led to a pass straight down the middle to Brock Wright for a 23 yard TD, giving the Lions the lead. On the next drive, Goff would go back to Reynolds for a 27-yard pass to set up a Lions’ field goal. After a turnover on downs by the Vikings, Goff and Kalif Raymond connected on a wide-open crossing route for 24 yards, helping the Lions tack on one more field goal.
Going into the second half, Goff and the Lions were up 20-7. The second half was a different story than the first for Goff as he went his three drives only getting a field goal, while the Vikings cut the lead to 8 points. Then, Goff was picked off throwing into triple coverage. It was a bad throw that Goff surely wishes he could take back.
Jared Goff pulled a Jared Goff and throws a pick in the 4th quarterpic.twitter.com/otSTl880gu
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 5, 2021
On the next drive, he was strip-sacked and gave the ball back on the Lions’ 21-yard line. This led to a Vikings TD and a 27-23 lead. On the final drive, Goff went 10 of 13 for 75 yards and an 11 yard TD to Amon-Ra St Brown.
Jamaal Williams: 17 carries, 71 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards
Jermar Jefferson: 5 carries, 18 yards | 1 target
Godwin Igwebuike: 2 carries, 8 yards | 2 targets, 13 yards
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) December 5, 2021
Jamaal Williams had a good day on the football field, averaging 4.1 YPC. He wasn’t targeted nearly as much as we all thought he would be as the lead back, however. That being said, he’s a strong runner who has the patience to find a hole to attack. He wasn’t anything to write home about on the stat sheet but with a bad line, he made the most of every opportunity and was rarely stopped for a loss. Jermar Jefferson got some work in on Sunday and had one or two good carries but was just a change of pace back for the Lions. Overall Williams should be a startable RB2 for fantasy managers until D’Andre Swift is back.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Amon-Ra St. Brown: 12 targets, 10 receptions, 86 yards, TD | 1 carry, 2 yards
Josh Reynolds: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 69 yards
TJ Hockenson: 8 targets, 4 receptions, 49 yards, TD
Kalif Raymond: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 33 yards
Brock Wright: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 28 yards, TD
KhaDarel Hodge: 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards
Amon Ra St Brown future all pro pic.twitter.com/M3fhd3K4XL
— Bre☃️ (@T0MFRAUDY) December 5, 2021
Amon-Ra St Brown had his coming-out party this week, catching 10 passes for 86 yards and a TD. He was used as a safety net for Jared Goff all game long. Getting utilized in the middle of the field predominantly, catching slants, outs, and dig routes, including the game-winning touchdown. I don’t recommend trusting him in fantasy going forward but I do think he has value as a stashable player on bigger rosters. Josh Reynolds gave us another good showing in this game, catching four passes for 69 yards, continuing to utilize his previous experience with Goff to elevate his game. Kalif Raymond made an appearance in this game catching a 24-yard pass. T.J. Hockenson got involved, scoring the first TD of the game on a drive that he caught two passes for 34 yards. Brock Wright caught a 23 yard TD in this game, his first of two catches for 28 yards.
— Justin Herrera (@Semtexmex93 on Twitter)