A strong second half performance lifts the Minnesota Vikings over the Los Angeles Rams.
The box score reveals a big game from the wide receiver, running back and quarterback. But what’s missing is the effort from the men in the trenches. In Sunday’s 24-7 victory over the Rams, both the Vikings offensive and defensive lines came up big.
The Vikings defense allowed a total of 45 rushing yards. Los Angeles running back Todd Gurley, who averaged 84 rushing yards per game entering the Week 11 matchup, ran for 37 yards on 15 carries (2.47 yards per carry).
The Vikings limited Rams quarterback Jared Goff to 225 yards on 23 of 37 (62%) passing with zero touchdowns and interceptions. The defense held Los Angeles to 254 yards of total offense. The group put constant pressure on Goff, including sacks by Danielle Hunter and Tashawn Bower and hits by Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks.
Meanwhile, the Vikings offense overcame two missed field goals by kicker Kai Forbath to score 24 points and rode the strength of the offensive line to earn over 450 yards of total offense.
Quarterback Case Keenum had a strong game, completing 27 of 38 passes (71%) for 280 yards and a touchdown. He spread the ball out, completing a pass to nine different receivers. He also added 20 yards on three carries.
The Vikings’ offensive line led the way. The unit provided Keenum with ample amounts of time to throw the ball. The linemen showed extra effort, pushing running backs C.J. Ham, Murray and Jerick McKinnon forward for extra yards on multiple occasions. The line did not allow a sack.
At halftime, the score was tied 7-7. Murray broke the tie with a 2-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Murray’s go-ahead touchdown, his second of the day, wound up being the game-winning score, as the Vikings outscored the Rams 17-0 in the second half.
The US Bank Stadium crowd caused issues for Los Angeles throughout the game. The intense noise forced the Rams into unnecessary huddles, a delay of game penalty, and unwanted timeouts.
The Vikings have now won six games in a row.
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes (calf) and tackle Rashod Hill (leg) left the game briefly but returned soon after. Tackle Mike Remmers (concussion) did not play. Defensive end Brian Robison (back) did not play after making the call in pregame warmups. It was the first time Robison was inactive since December 23rd, 2012. His replacement, Bower, earned his first career sack.
The Vikings (8-2) face the Detroit Lions (6-4) this Thursday. It’s the second straight Thanksgiving Day matchup between the two teams. Last year, the Lions beat the Vikings 16-13.