Two NFC North rivals and playoff contenders meet Sunday afternoon when the Detroit Lions take on the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field in Minneapolis.
Here are five storylines to follow:
1. The last time these teams faced each other -- Sept. 30 in Detroit -- the Lions special teams were in total disarray. The difference in the Vikings 20-13 victory was a touchdown on a kick return and a touchdown on a punt return.
The Lions, however, appear to have plugged those holes on special teams since giving up four scores in two weeks. In the last four games, theyve allowed an average of 6 yards on punt returns and 20.4 yards on kick returns.
Thats quite a turnaround considering the NFL averages this season are 9.2 yards per punt return and 24.2 per kickoff return.
Theyre not even the same special teams by any means, Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said. Theyre so, so much better as a group across the board.
To which Lions coach Jim Schwartz quipped, I would hope so.
The next s...