The Rams said this week that the Vikings are a team that will keep them on their toes.
Last year's matchup between the two teams at U.S. Bank Stadium ended in a 24-7 Minnesota win in Week 11.
This year the Vikings will face the Rams, the only undefeated team in the NFC, on their home turf for Thursday Night Football.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff recalled the difficulties of facing Minnesota's defense last season. He emphasized to Los Angeles media members that while the Vikings won't have the added benefit of the home crowd noise, he fully expects the defense to be just as dominant as last November.
"They're a great defense, they have been for a long time, and the stuff they do presents challenges and gave us a lot of fits last year when we went to their place and had to deal with that," Goff said. "They brought back a lot of the same guys and are going to bring back the same type of stuff defensively, so we're going to have to deal with it again."
The Vikings had a difficult outing against the Bills last week, but the Rams coaching staff believes it wasn't an accurate reflection of Minnesota's talent.
Rams Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips said he "doesn't expect to see that team" Thursday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
"Minnesota had a tough game, but we know Kirk Cousins. He's thrown seven touchdown passes and only thrown two interceptions in [three] games. He can throw the football," Phillips said. "We expect them, obviously, to go back to the running game. They weren't able to because they got behind last game, but we expect the running game against us.
"We didn't play very well the second half against the run, so we expect them to come after us in the running game, and they've got a quarterback that can make plays," Phillips added.
Rams Run Game Coordinator Aaron Kromer also recalled last season's game against Minnesota, in which Los Angeles totaled just 45 rushing yards – 11 of which came in the second half.
"We didn't run the ball as well as we had in other games against this defense, and they're a stout defense," Kromer said. "They're built to stop the run, that's their number one goal – you can see it on tape, they talk about it, they live it – and we're built to run the ball. So we have to do a much better job this year with this game and running the football."
Here are other highlights of Rams talking about the Vikings during the week:
Rams Head Coach Sean McVay on expectations after Vikings Week 3 game:
"I don't think the score is indicative of the type of game that it was. This is a great defense, great players, great system. I think they had a couple short fields, but by no means do I think that game or even that score is representative of the caliber of defense, the caliber of players, the caliber of coaching – this is an outstanding challenge for us."
McVay on his time with Kirk Cousins in Washington:
"I think Kirk's just, one of the things that people who have been around him, you can't help but love his consistent work ethic, how much he loves the game of football. I think he's a mentally tough guy that's demonstrated the ability to persevere through some adversity throughout the course of his career, and I think that's a consistent theme with any great quarterback. Inevitably you're going to go through some tough times, and you've heard Kirk say it before too, 'Tough times don't last. Tough people do.'
"I think from a pure, just ability standpoint, you hear people sometimes talk about not the strongest arm or whatever, I'm not sure what film they're watching. He can make every single throw. I think he has the ability to speed it up with excellent twitch, he can change the launch point. So you're not limited in any way that you can utilize him, and I couldn't be happier for Kirk. And I'll be rooting for him the rest of the year – after Thursday night.
Kromer on Minnesota's defense:
"They're a talented bunch that continues to do the same thing over and over. They have the same mentality that we do as far as, 'This is our identity, this is the way we play defense, these are the techniques that we're going to use, and we're going to be better than you. We're going to out-technique you.' We have to go into this game and take advantage of their techniques with our techniques."
Phillips on prepping for Cousins with a new team:
"He's in a different offense this year. … They've got different reads and so forth. We're going to have to adjust to whatever quarterback we play and what we think he's going to do. He's got different receivers; they run different routes than the guys he's thrown to before. They've got some big-play receivers with [Stefon] Diggs, obviously, and [Adam] Thielen. And they've got a good tight end. So he's got all the pieces he needs, and he's a very accurate thrower. He's got real arm talent, and that's why they paid him what they paid him."
View travel images from Tuesday night as the Vikings flew to Los Angeles in advance of Thursday's game vs. the Rams.