It’s time to throw some kudos to the Lions’ offensive line. This much-maligned unit is having a banner season.
It ranks fifth in the NFL in protecting the quarterback (allowing a sack on just four percent of pass plays).
It has allowed the second fewest tackles for loss (28) and is No. 1 with the lowest percentage of negative offensive plays (4.9).
And, lo and behold, the Lions all of a sudden have a competent run game.
The offensive line could play a big role Sunday. The Vikings defensive line has suddenly become vulnerable to the run, giving up an average of 165.8 yards on the ground the last four weeks.
“Yeah, they’ve been a lot better running the ball and we’ve not been doing a good job against the run,” said Vikings defensive end Jared Allen. “We’re going to have to get that corrected.”
Allen has certainly done his share of damage against the Lions.
Since 2007 he has 13.5 sacks, 38 tackles, four forced fumbles and a pick-six. But guess what? He’s done similar damage to the other NFC North teams, as well. He has 13 sacks against both Green Bay and Chicago.
If the Lions can run, though, it will mitigate Allen’s effectiveness.