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Early Look: Vikings vs. Rams

Posted Nov 13, 2017

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings secured their fifth consecutive victory Sunday as they scored a season high in points in a 38-30 win over Washington.

Minnesota sits at 7-2 to find itself in first place in the NFC North.

The Vikings have the second-best record in the NFC and welcome a foe into U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday with the same mark.

Los Angeles is also 7-2 after getting a 33-7 win over Houston on Sunday afternoon. The Rams, who have won six of seven games, are in first place in the NFC West.

Here’s an early look at Sunday’s game:

Passing: Vikings quarterback Case Keenum had one of the best games of his NFL career Sunday as he completed 21 of 29 passes for a career-high four touchdowns.

Keenum, who also threw two interceptions, had a passer rating of 117.0. It was his second-highest passer rating of the season.

Keenum has started seven games this season after signing with the Vikings as a free agent this offseason. He has completed 170 of 262 passes (64.9 percent) for 1,914 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. He has a passer rating of 92.6.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He completed 25 of 37 passes for 355 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions on Sunday. His passer rating was 125.4.

Goff ranks seventh in the NFL with 2,385 yards and has thrown for 16 touchdowns with four picks.

Rushing: The Vikings rank 10th in the NFL with 118.0 rushing yards per game, an improvement from 2016 when Minnesota ranked last in the league with just 75.3 rushing yards per game.

Latavius Murray had 17 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown against Washington. Jerick McKinnon had 10 carries for 32 yards.

McKinnon has 319 rushing yards on the season and has three rushing touchdowns, a career high. Murray has 317 yards and two scores on the season.

Los Angeles ran for 104 yards on 25 carries Sunday. Todd Gurley had 68 yards on 11 carries.

Gurley has 754 rushing yards, which ranks fourth in the NFL, and is tied for the league lead with seven rushing scores. Los Angeles ranks fifth in the league with 128.8 yards per game.

Receiving: Adam Thielen had eight receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown Sunday in the nation’s capital. Stefon Diggs had four catches for 78 yards and a score.

Tight end David Morgan recorded his first career touchdown catch, and Jarius Wright also had a touchdown catch. Tight end Kyle Rudolph had five catches for 37 yards.

Thielen ranks third in the NFL with 793 yards and is tied for fifth with 56 receptions. He has at least five receptions in all nine games this season and is the only player in the NFL to do so.

Diggs has 47 catches for 500 yards and a team-high five touchdown catches. Rudolph has 37 catches for 308 yards and three scores.

Wide receiver Robert Woods had eight receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns against Houston.

Gurley had six catches for 68 yards, rookie Cooper Kupp had six receptions for 47 yards and Sammy Watkins had two catches for 41 yards and a score.

Woods leads the Rams with 39 catches for 622 yards and is tied for the team lead with four scores. Watkins also has four touchdowns and 372 yards on 21 catches.

Gurley has 35 catches for 406 yards, and Kupp has 32 receptions for 417 yards.

Defense: Minnesota’s defense ranks fifth overall in yards allowed per game (294.6) and is tied for fifth in points allowed per game (18.3).

Washington’s 30-point output was the second time the Vikings allowed an opponent to score more than 20 points in a game this season.

Mackensie Alexander recorded his first career interception Sunday, andDanielle Hunter recorded his fourth sack of the season.

Defensive end Everson Griffen did not play Sunday but has at least one sack in all eight games he’s played in this season. He is tied for third in the NFL with 10 sacks. 

The Rams defense allowed 283 yards of offense Sunday to Houston while surrendering just seven points. The unit had a pair of interceptions, two fumble recoveries and three sacks.

Defensive tackle Aaron Donald leads the team with 5.0 sacks. Linebacker Mark Barron has three interceptions. The Rams defense ranks 15th overall in yards allowed per game (322.1) and is fourth in points allowed per game (18.0).

Special Teams: Kai Forbath made his only field goal attempt Sunday, a 53-yard try that was his fifth successful kick beyond the 50-yard mark in 2017. He has made 22 of 23 field goals this season.

Punter Ryan Quigley averaged 39.5 yards on a pair of punts.

Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein made all four of his attempts attempt Sunday, and is 28 of 29 on the season. He leads the NFL with 114 points.

Punter Johnny Hekker averages 47.7 yards per punt, the ninth-best mark in the NFL.

 

Over The Years

The Vikings are 26-16-2 all-time against the Rams. The teams have played each other seven total times in the postseason, with Minnesota holding a 5-2 advantage in the playoffs.

Minnesota has had the upper hand of late, winning five of the past six meetings, including four straight.

The teams’ most recent playoff game was in 2000, when the St. Louis Rams earned a 49-37 win on the way to claiming Super Bowl XXXIV.

Last Meeting: Vikings 21, Rams 18, (in overtime), Nov. 8, 2015, in Minneapolis

The Vikings teams endured a seesaw battle that saw the Vikings win in overtime on a 40-yard field goal.

Minnesota grabbed an early 10-0 lead behind a field goal and 6-yard score by running back Adrian Peterson. 

Gurley then ran for a touchdown before Zuerlein kicked three field goals in the second quarter.

Teddy Bridgewater ran for a 6-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter to give the Vikings the lead, but the quarterback left the game early in the fourth quarter after a late hit knocked him unconscious. He was replaced by Shaun Hill.

Zuerlein tied the game at 18 on a 53-yard field goal in the closing seconds. The Vikings won the toss but chose to kick to avoid the wind, a move that paid off when Blair Walsh split the uprights with 9:24 left in overtime.

Bridgewater threw for 144 yards before leaving the game, and Peterson ran for 125 yards and a score on 29 carries.

Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph won NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors following the win. He was credited with 10 tackles (seven solo), 0.5 sacks, three tackles for loss and two quarterback pressures.

Safety Andrew Sendejo teamed up with Joseph on the sack.

The win moved the Vikings to 6-2 and was their fourth straight victory in an eventual five-game win streak.