Sun, 02 Oct 2022

Week 3 opponent: What the Vikings are saying

Detroit Lions
22 Sep 2022, 20:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman

What are the Minnesota Vikings' players and coaches talking about ahead of Sunday's Week 3 matchup against the Detroit Lions at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis? Let's find out:

1. Vikings safety Harrison Smith left Monday's 24-7 loss to the Eagles to be evaluated for a concussion. His status for Sunday will depend on how he progresses this week through the concussion protocol.

"It's very, very important that that gets handled through the medical protocol," Minnesota head coach Kevin O'Connell said. "It is a short week, so we'll just kind of have to see where he's at. He's one of our guys, one of our leaders, and not one time did you ever feel like Harrison wasn't leading the way out there (Monday night), but unfortunately we did lose him. We'll see how he is throughout the rest of the week."

2. There was a lot that went wrong for the Vikings in Monday's loss to Philadelphia. But one area both O'Connell and quarterback Kirk Cousins pointed to was their inability to convert third downs on offense. Minnesota went three-and-out on four of their five first-half drives and were just 4-of-12 on third down in the game.

"I think part of the challenge is we didn't stay on the field, we didn't run enough plays (21 plays in first half). And so those three-and-outs early aren't how we want to start," Cousins said after finishing 27-of-46 passing for 221 yards a touchdown and three interceptions for a 51.1 passer rating vs. Eagles.

Expect that to be a major focus for the Vikings as they prepare to face a Detroit defense that ranks 30th in third-down defense.

5 stats that stand out following Lions' Week 2 victoryO'HARA: What we learned from Week 2KEY QUESTIONS: Which plays made the difference in Sunday's win?

3. Detroit knows how difficult it can be stopping Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Eagles' offense. The Eagles scored 38 points in a Week 1 win over Detroit. Minnesota allowed the Eagles to net 486 yards of total offense, 323 of those through the air, and 25 first downs in Week 2.

"It didn't feel like we were able to get in any type of rhythm," linebacker Jordan Hicks told Vikings.com. "Good play, bad play, couple of bad plays, a good play, there was no rhythm. We couldn't sustain momentum and we weren't able to execute the way we wanted to. It's frustrating because it felt like everything was together and everything went right (Week 1 vs. Green Bay) and this week, it felt completely opposite."

Minnesota's defense now gets ready to face a Lions' offense that has scored the most points in the NFL through the first two weeks of the season.

4. Former Vikings player and coach Pete Bercich broke down the Week 3 matchup between the Vikings and Lions with a focus on Detroit's 'explosive and diverse' offense. See what he had to say here.

5. "Now we have to respond on a short week. Be a resilient group and get back on track," Cousins said about righting the ship this week against the Lions. "We need to play better and will play better up ahead."

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