Minnesota Vikings Crush Rams 34-6; Mike Zimmer Wins Head Coaching Debut


Welcome to the win column, Mike Zimmer. Let’s hope your first victory as Vikings head coach is just the first of many.

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The Man Called Zim could not have hoped for a better effort from his team in the season’s opening game, on the road against what we thought would be a tough opponent.

The St. Louis Rams were supposed to have a defense that would tear up the Vikings offensive line, and though the Rams did cause some problems for the pass protection, the Vikings had an answer.

And that answer was to go to the ground game. But on this day, the ground game wasn’t just Adrian Peterson, it was also Cordarrelle Patterson.

Peterson put in the hard work grinding out yardage, finishing the day with 75 yards on 21 rushes. But Patterson was the big play threat, taking a Matt Cassel toss 67 yards for a touchdown.

Patteron’s explosive play was one of three offensive TDs on the day for Minnesota, the other two coming on a Matt Cassel pass to Greg Jennings and later a Cassel-to-Kyle Rudolph connection.

The Vikings added a fourth TD when Harrison Smith housed an INT in the fourth quarter to seal the game.

Impressive as the Vikings’ ground attack was, the defense was the real story of the day for Minnesota. Mike Zimmer’s revamped D showed some of that aggressiveness and big play ability we’ve been promised, sacking Rams QBs five times and picking off a pair of passes.

Sep 7, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) is tackled by St. Louis Rams middle linebacker James Laurinaitis (55) during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams offense could get nothing started against Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr, Everson Griffen and the Vikings’ D. Griffen finished the day with a pair of sacks, Smith added a sack to his interception and the rookie Barr led the way with seven tackles.

The stats show how dominating the Vikings’ were in blowing up the Rams’ offensive line and disrupting their offense: 5 sacks, 7 tackles for loss, 8 QB hits, 5 passes defensed and a pair of INTs.

The Rams just had no chance out there, whether the QB was Shaun Hill or his replacement Austin Davis. The pressure was relentless, the tackling was mostly sure and when the Vikings had chances to make plays in the secondary, they took advantage.

That combination of overwhelming ground game plus the occasional explosive play, plus big plays on defense, will lead to plenty of wins if the Viking can keep it up. This team could have something really big going under Mike Zimmer.

It’s early, but the signs are good.