The Vikings travel to LA as 7 point underdogs following their abysmal loss to the Bills. The Rams have looked unstoppable this year and have covered in each game with lines of 6.5, 13 and 7. That has translated into them being ranked the top overall team in efficiency metrics with the number 2 offense, number 8 defense and number 11 special teams. If there is any weakness to the Rams it is their run defense where they ranked 26th. Although this week they play a Vikings team that struggles to run the ball and is ranked 31st in rushing offense. They have relied on the pass as their offensive line has had their share of issues throughout the season and off-season. One thing the Vikings will be looking to take advantage of will be the Rams secondary that will be without Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. The games total sits at 48.5 right now but will probably trend over as the night goes along.
The Vikings are a team that I said in the pre-season were overhyped and would take a considerable step back. So far they have looked the part coming out to an unimpressive 1-1-1 record that probably should have been a 1-2 record. Their offense looked good against a horrendous 49ers defense but still needed a defensive score to be the difference in that game. They were bailed out by a questionable roughing the passer call on a late Kirk Cousins interception that would have lost them the game. Then against Buffalo he looked bad. He was inaccurate and did not take care of the football, which is a theme as he has the most fumbles in the NFL since 2015. He threw 55 times but only for 296 yards. A bunch of his completions were just little dump off passes that went for little to no yardage. I don’t think any team will look as bad as they did in the previous week but I am still not sold the Vikings can cover this number. Their offensive line faces their toughest test against the Rams who have arguably the most talented defensive line in the NFL. If Kirk Cousins can get some time to throw he may be able to find Stefon Diggs or Adam Thielen open with the Rams top corners being injured. Even then it will be tough to keep up with the high powered Rams offense.
The Rams have lived up to their billing so far as favorites in the NFC. Their offense and defense have both been great and they have barely spent any time playing from behind. They have won every game in convincing fashion and look to continue doing so. The Vikings were able to get the best of the Rams last year in a game where they held the Rams to only 7 points. That was a different Vikings team though. Their defense was much more dominant and their offensive line was playing much better as well. This game was also very low scoring with the final being 24-7. Rams coach Sean McVay is known for his exceptional memory and I’m sure this game will be fresh in his mind. I see this year’s game being much different. These teams have gone in opposite directions since they played last year. The Rams have improved and the Vikings have regressed. Despite the injuries to Talib and Peters I can’t find a reason to not be on the Rams here. I think they are a better coached team also which always is very important on Thursday night games. The Vikings look to be having issues and I don’t think they can fix them on the road on a short week against arguably the best NFL team in the league. I feel like this is such a square pick and I hate taking it pick but if I have to take a side it is the Rams. I don’t see the Vikings being the team to slow them down.