Thursday Night Football Preview: Vikings at Rams

Thursday Night Football Preview: Vikings at Rams

Updated: Aug 2, 2019


Photo courtesy of Robert Robinson @badasskidsent

Minnesota Vikings (1-1-1) vs. Los Angeles Rams (3-0)


Preview

Going from a terrible week 3 performance to Thursday Night Football on the road against the best team in the league could be a daunting task for the Minnesota Vikings. They were dominated by the Bills, but don’t think the Vikings will be in similar this week. Minnesota is out for blood after their poor showing and wants to show the league they are still the team to beat in the NFC. A win against the Rams tonight would give Minnesota the tie breaker if they were to end the regular season with the same record. This matchup could decide who gets first seed in the NFC come playoffs.


Players to watch

With Aqib Talib heading to IR and Marcus Peters potentially missing a few weeks, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen could have a field day against the Rams backup defensive backs. After two fumbles and an interception last Sunday, it will be interesting to see how Kirk Cousins bounces back against this banged up secondary. Look for this to be a Todd Gurley vs the Vikings type of game, as he could easily hit 30 touches under the lights. If the Vikings allow him to control the tempo, it could be a long night for the defense. The matchup between LA slot receiver Cooper Kupp and Minnesota’s defensive rookie of the year candidate Mike Hughes will be a battle that could have big ramifications early in the contest.


Keys to the game

Minnesota Vikings

  • Stop Todd Gurley

  • Spread the ball around

  • Pressure Jared Goff

Los Angeles Rams

  • Establish the run early

  • Utilize all offensive weapons

  • Get to Kirk Cousins’ drop point


Injury list

Minnesota Vikings

  • Dalvin Cook, RB: Hamstring (Questionable)

  • Anthony Harris, SS: Hamstring (Questionable)

  • Tom Johnson, DT: Ankle (Questionable)

  • Riley Reiff, OT: Foot (Questionable)

  • Everson Griffen, DE: Knee (Out)

  • Marcus Sherels, DB: Ribs (Out)

Los Angeles Rams

  • Dominique Easley, OLB: Knee (Questionable)

  • Marcus Peters, CB: Calf (Questionable)

  • Mark Barron, LB: Ankle (Doubtful)

  • Jojo Natson, WR: Hand (Out)

  • Greg Zuerlein, K: Groin (Out)

Top 5 Fantasy Players

  • Todd Gurley

  • Kirk Cousins

  • Brandin Cooks

  • Stefon Diggs

  • Adam Thielen


Prediction

With the Rams missing both of their starting cornerbacks, Minnesota has a chance to pass the ball efficiently against this vaunted LA secondary. The Rams are averaging 34 points per game through the first three weeks of the season, but their offensive success dates back to 2017 when they finished as the top scoring offense in the league. They’re always difficult to slow down, but the Rams were held to 270 total yards and 7 points in their 2017 matchup. After their abysmal performance against the Bills, expect the Vikings to get back on track in this clash of NFC superpowers.


Final Score: Vikings 27, Rams 24


Written by Jason Feiner

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