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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings make Case for the NFC’s best team in win over Rams

By Matthew Coller

The Los Angeles Rams came into Sunday’s game at US Bank Stadium as the NFL’s leader in points scored and third best team in the NFL in points allowed. And the Minnesota Vikings demolished them.

During the game’s opening drive, you might have thought it was going to be a long day for the Vikings’ defense as quarterback Jared Goff and the Rams cruised 75 yards for a touchdown. After that the Vikings’ defense owned the Rams. While Goff was only sacked once, he was given little-to-no time to pass, routinely throwing under pressure from Vikings blitzes. Goff finished 23-for-37 with 225 yards, zero touchdowns.

This year has been a redemption season for running back Todd Gurley, who entered as the league’s leader in yards from scrimmage. The Vikings’ defense gave him nothing in the 24-7 win. Gurley rushed 15 times for just 37 yards.

On the offensive side, the Vikings weren’t explosive for the majority of the first three quarters, but they dominated possession and wore down the Rams’ defense. Late in the third, Latavius Murray opened a drive with a 25-yard run, then quarterback Case Keenum dinked and dunked his way down the field to set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Murray – his second of the game. Murray totaled 95 yards on just 15 carries on the day.

The Rams opened their following drive with a quick first down and it appeared they might find a spark. Then the Vikings shut them down again. Harrison Smith nearly picked off a deep pass that was rushed by Goff due to pressure up the middle by Eric Kendricks. Minnesota caught a break with a dropped pass by rookie Cooper Kupp, who also fumbled at a 1-yard line earlier in the game.

Following a Rams punt, receiver Adam Thielen made sure there would be no Hollywood story at US Bank Stadium on Sunday. He grabbed a quick pass from Keenum and burned backup cornerback Dominique Hatfield for a 65-yard touchdown, putting the Vikings up by two scores.

The Rams’ following drive went: Three plays, eight yards, punt.

Murray was signed by the Vikings this offseason situations like the fourth quarter against L.A. He pounded away at the Rams – picking up 34 yards on one rush – and slamming away for five first downs, draining the clock dead.

Two missed field goals not withstanding, the win over the Rams was the most impressive top-to-bottom victory by the Vikings since they demolished the Tampa Bay Bucs in Week 3 – and the Rams are a far, far better opponent than the Bucs.

Prior to Sunday, the Rams had a strong argument for being considered the NFC’s best team. The Vikings made it clear they are more deserving of being in that conversation with the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints for top dog.

The Vikings will have a quick turnaround, playing against Detroit on Thursday. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Keenum will again start and Teddy Bridgewater will remain on the sideline.

Keenum finished Sunday’s game 27-for-38 with 280 yards and one touchdown.

No matter the quarterback, the Vikings are now in second place in the NFC with an 8-2 record – exactly where they dreamed to be going into the year with a stacked roster.

The post Vikings make Case for the NFC’s best team in win over Rams appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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