THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW (WEEK 4)
BEAST DOME NATION.
This is the matchup we all dreamed of, Vikings @ Rams on primetime TV. Before we get too excited about the matchup, the Rams are down 50% of their most important defensive players. Suh and Donald will contain the running game, but no Talib or Peters leaves that secondary a lot more vulnerable than they ever planned they would be in 2018. Not a good time for this experiement to play out for the Rams as they take on one of the top passing teams in the NFC in the Vikings.
Last week the Vikings shot themselves in the foot and kneecap as they had two costly turnovers to start the game as well as costly flags throughout the entire 1st Half. One of those flags extending the Bills first Drive which led to the 7-0 lead and momentum. After that a Cousins fumble, and the next time the Vikings got the ball, another Cousins fumble.
Rams do lack a serious pass rush and that is their downfall right now, they can stop the running game, but they cannot get to the QB along the edge and that should leave Cousins with enough time to hit his WRs down the field. Diggs dropped a would be 50+ Yard TD last week, you know they will dial his number again with no Talib or Peters. The safe routes are normally ran by Adam T, but look for Diggs to get more involved in general as he is the type of player who on Primetime TV can really ball out. Dalvin Cook will get his opportunities, assuming he plays, but the Vikings will probably still play it safe with their RB and handle his carries with caution as there is still 75% of the regular season remaining.
Rams on the other hand are the best offense in the NFC and maybe NFL. Sean McVay is a true genius, but this is a tough challenge. Luckily for McVay, playing at home and taking the Vikings D away from their crowd should allow the Rams to score a lot more points than they would have. Running the ball will be tough against Young Sheldon Richardson and Linval Joesph, but Gurley is Gurley and no defense can really stop him. With Jared Goff launching the ball and throwing everything on a dime, the Rams are going to need McVay and his play calling to keep the Vikings off balanced. No Everson Griffen will help the Rams out on the passrush a bit, but Danielle Hunter is a BEAST.
In the end, it will come down to the Vikings destroying the Rams beatup secondary vs. how good of a game can Sean McVay call. As much as I respect and think McVay is a great play caller, I am going with the slam dunk Vikings offense to score some points, Rams at a huge disadvantage with no true kicking game.
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