When the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Detroit Lions (5-4) on the road in Week 4 to move to 3-1, it looked like they were shaping up to be one of the surprise teams in the NFC. But they've lost three of five games since then, and will enter Sunday's rematch against Detroit with a 5-4 record.
In order to avoid falling to .500, and to keep pace with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers in the NFC North, Minnesota will have to sweep the season series with Detroit for the first time since 2009. Task one for Minnesota will be re-establishing itself on defense, where they've allowed 66 combined points in their last two games, both of which were losses. The bad news for the Vikings is that they'll be facing a rejuvenated Detroit offense.
The Vikings will also hope that Christian Ponder can shake himself out of a debilitating slump. Much like the team itself, Ponder appeared to have turned a corner early in the season, but he's thrown for under 65 yards in two of the team's last three games.
Sunday's game kicks off at 1 p.m. ET on FOX.