A drastic change of pace from the last few predictions. While most of the season, the FPC Vikings staff has been confident in Minnesota’s chances, this week things have shifted. Given the circumstances of playing on a short week, on the road, after one of the worst losses in recent history, things are looking a little tough as Minnesota takes on the Rams.
Here are the Full Press Vikings staff’s predictions for Vikings-Rams on Thursday Night Football.
Madison Parkhill: Los Angeles 27, Minnesota 24
After a disappointing week three performance against the Bills, the Vikings travel to Los Angeles to take on the undefeated Rams. The Rams offense has been one of the best in the league, featuring elite running back Todd Gurley. The Minnesota defense will be in for a tough challenge, especially considering the absence of Everson Griffen. On defense, the Rams have a strong interior defensive line, but injuries to star cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib and a relatively weak linebacker unit means the defense is attackable. If the offensive line can give Kirk Cousins time, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen should be open consistently. I think the Rams pull out the victory in a high scoring affair.
– Madison Parkhill writes for Full Press Coverage and covers the Vikings. Follow him @MadPark44.
Roger Dier: Los Angeles 30, Minnesota 17
The math is disturbing. Since the second half of the playoff win against the Saints in January, the Minnesota defense has allowed 134 points in 18 quarters. That averages to 7.4 points per quarter, 30 points per game and 474 points in a 16-game season.
I expect Minnesota to play better at Los Angeles Thursday, but after Buffalo, expectations are free falling. Mathematics are factual, and facts, as John Adams once said, are stubborn things. I do not expect the Vikings to beat the Rams because the Minnesota defense is soft as a fat man’s bum.
– Roger Dier covers the Vikings for Full Press Coverage. Follow Roger on Twitter @rogerdier.
Clayton Brooks: Los Angeles 27, Minnesota 21
After last week’s debacle vs the Bills, there’s a number of reasons to be concerned going into tonight’s game against the undefeated Rams. The Vikings defense has continued to make mistakes in coverage and the o-line has been among the league’s worst in pass protection. Not a good recipe for success versus a team that throws the ball all over the place and can get into an opposing offense’s backfield.
The Vikings are fortunate that the Rams will be without top corners Aqib Talib and (likely) Marcus Peters. That being said, after what we witnessed this past Sunday, I’m still not sure I like Minnesota’s chances on the road in this one.
– Clayton Brooks writes for Full Press Coverage and covers the Vikings. Follow him @ClaytonRBrooks2.
Sam Smith: Los Angeles 23, Minnesota 20
I am at a point of waning confidence. Not so much in the Vikings’ overall talent, which I think is vast and more than capable of winning any single game. Rather, I am losing faith in the coaching staff to establish a proper plan. In two straight games, Minnesota looked completely outschemed in the first half, then had to make halftime adjustments to get back into it. Against Green Bay, this worked out OK for them. It did not last week against Buffalo.
With the Rams, the Vikings are not only playing a team that can match them talent-wise, they are going up against two of the best schemers in the game in Sean McVay and Wade Phillips. Based on early returns from the 2018 season for both of these teams, I think that will end up making the difference. Minnesota will probably get out to a slow start, given the extra short week, then make up for it in the second to make it a shoot out. But ultimately, I side with the Rams’ fire power.
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