Vikings V. Rams Game Preview (Sept. 27): Vikings Looking To Rebound Against Super Bowl Favorites
Twenty-six years have passed since the Rams hosted the Vikings in Los Angeles, and NFL fans are in for what might have been the matchup of the year thus far, just one week ago. The tide of the turbulent NFL has turned again, marking several powerhouses with stickers of uncertainty, Minnesota included. After losing in both unprecedented and unexpected fashion to the dreadful Buffalo Bills, the playoffs are wide open through one-fourth of the season. Only the undefeated Rams have rights to the reigns of the NFC; their singular dominance and thorough play on both sides of the ball will face its first challenge of the year with the Vikings.
The undefeated Los Angeles team has been the most proven football team thus far, ascending the ranks past the likes of playoff mainstays, though with an easier road to 3-0 than most. In what could be a preview of the NFC Championship, both teams will assuredly be judged off of their performances in this game, both with something to prove.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins, gleaming with the sheen of a cool three-year, $84 million guaranteed deal, has played decently in the young season, keeping his composure in both close games and minimizing mistakes. Completing 68.3 of his passes for 965 yards, tossing seven touchdowns to only two picks, his 98.8 QB rating is good for 12th in the league, which just might not be enough to preserve an elite team.
Conversely, Rams passer Jared Goff, tearing through his previously low ceiling, sports the sixth-best QB rating in the league at 110, only surpassed by five potential MVP candidates. The biggest separation between this year’s Rams team and last year’s is the explosive playmaking of a stacked offensive network. Veteran tackle Andrew Whitworth conducts a steamrolling offensive line that has been the foundation of this team’s success. Goff has an elite depository of receivers in Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods.
The NFL-best defense of the Vikings in 2017 have been a no-show, instead letting up 27 points to the Bills and being tossed around by Aaron Rodgers. Through three weeks, the Vikings rank 16th in points allowed (72) and points per game (24), 10th in yards per game (323.3), seventh in yards per play (5.0), and have three interceptions and three forced fumbles.
Either of the star-studded lineups of both rosters could lay claim to the NFC’s best if a win is yielded: an away win on a short week for the Vikings will prove legitimacy, and a 4-0 start for the Rams will surely keep the doubts at bay.
The game will air on FOX and NFL Network, and can also be live-streamed on Amazon Prime.