Emergence Of These Two Lions Should Scare Vikings

Both players have game-breaking abilities

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A Surprising Line

The Detroit Lions (5-7) are betting favorites against the Minnesota Vikings (10-2) this week, which is one of the most shocking betting storylines of the entire 2022 NFL season. 

Despite the fact that Minnesota has one of the best records in the NFL and has won nine of their last 10 games, bettors have keyed in on how solid this Lions team has looked in their last handful of games. Detroit has won four out of five and has covered the spread in all five.

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D’Andre Swift = Back

After battling numerous injuries throughout the season, Swift matched his season-high with 18 touches in Detroit’s 40-14 win over the Jaguars last week. He carried the ball 14 times for 62 yards and a touchdown and also caught four of six targets for an additional 49 yards. 

Jamaal Williams has been a godsend for this offense and leads the entire NFL with 14 rushing touchdowns, but Swift’s explosiveness and versatility vaults this backfield into an elite one. Swift saw 51% of running back snaps last week (39) while Williams saw 30% (23) and Justin Jackson saw 21% (16). 

“I would say this is the best he’s looked in practice,” Lions head coach Dan Campbell said of Swift, per MLive.com. “We could tell on Wednesday that he had a spring in his step, he was feeling better. Just some of the things, the way he moved, everything. And then just every day he looked better, felt better. And we have said all along, the better he feels and where he feels like he can open it up and go, then he’s going to get more.” 

“We were joking about it earlier this week, like calling it -- we had our horses back,” Jared Goff added. “And you could feel it on Wednesday with Josh and DJ, and obviously Swift with his progression now, where he’s at now. Those guys make a huge difference. They’re some of our best players, and getting them on the field and getting them the ball typically results in good things and makes my life a lot easier when they’re on the field.”

Swift and Williams’ production on the ground allowed Goff to go 31-of-41 passing for 340 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers as the pressure was taken off of Amon-Ra St. Brown and DJ Chark in the vertical passing game. Expect much of the same this week against Minnesota, but for one wideout to also make more of an impact.

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Jameson Williams: Game 2

Prized rookie wideout Jameson Williams made a quiet NFL debut, as he logged only eight snaps and failed to catch his only target. But, there’s a ton of upside for the former Alabama standout who caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide last year. 

“Today was just about getting his legs under him,” coach Dan Campbell said of Williams’ NFL debut, per PrideOfDetroit.com. “Go through pre-game, be on the sideline, you got your pads on, run into a huddle, run out, line up, wrestle with someone one-on-one a little bit. It was really that, just to get him somewhat acclimated, very much like we did (with) Jerry Jacobs in Dallas. That’s really what this was. He’s going to get a little bit more next week. This was just (a) primer for him. Let’s just get his legs under him so he can get a feel. It’s his first NFL game, so we’re good.”

“Had the one shot on the go-ball,” Goff added regarding Williams. “Wish I could connect it, but it was good to get a rep with him there, but yeah, it’ll progress from here. It’ll (be) more probably next week. How much, I don’t know, but make sure he’s dialed in on his packages, and he’ll do a great job. He’s, as you said, a thoroughbred, a guy that, as good as we are at receiver right now and the health we have, can add to that group and make it even more explosive.” 

With St. Brown, Chark, Josh Reynolds and now Williams in the mix, this should be a formidable passing attack week-after-week to close out the year, especially since both Swift and Williams should be able to make things happen on the ground as well.

How does BetQL see this game playing out, though? Take a look at our model’s best bets and final score projection below!