Minnesota Vikings vs St. Louis Rams: 3 Keys To Victory


It’s finally Minnesota Vikings gameday.  We’ve waited all year for this.  We followed the offseason moves, read all about training camp and watched the preseason games.  Today is the day that we’ve been waiting for.

The first opponents for the Minnesota Vikings will be the Saint Louis Rams.  While this game will happen on the visiting team’s turf, it is the season opener and will have that amazing feel to it even though it isn’t in Minnesota.   For the Vikings to walk out winners, there are a couple very important things that must happen.  Here are my 3 keys to victory:

Dec 22, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn (94) sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Win the game in the trenches:  Although the Minnesota Vikings offensive line are no slouches, they are going to need to play at the top of their game today.  The St. Louis Rams have an excellent pass rush led by Robert Quinn.  Quinn ended last year with 19 sacks and faces a struggling Matt Kalil at left tackle.  It is important for the safety of Matt Cassel and the Minnesota passing game to keep the quarterback upright for this game.

  • Have a positive turnover differential:  It’s true what they say in the NFL, you can’t win a game if you keep giving the opponent the ball.  This preseason, the Minnesota Vikings did an excellent job in that category, but they’ll need to keep that going in order to beat the Rams today.  Also, the team will have to get take advantage of any errant passes from Rams starting quarterback Shaun Hill or fumbles that may occur.  This is an area where the 2013 Vikings struggled mightily.
  • Aug 23, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy (30) against the Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard (97) during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

    Frustrate the Rams offense:  Although the Minnesota Vikings did an excellent job disrupting plays in the preseason, that doesn’t mean that the trend will continue into the regular season.  Everson Griffen will have to continue to prove that he is worth the large contract he signed this offseason while Brian Robison will be forced to play this year without future Hall of Fame defensive end Jared Allen.  Also, Sharrif Floyd will have to show that he can progress as a starter now that long time defensive tackle Kevin Williams has moved on to Seattle.  If Linval Joseph is close to 100%, he should be able to make a huge difference in the middle of that defensive line, but that’s asking a lot for a guy that recently got shot in the leg.  These guys, and newly drafted linebacker Anthony Barr will have to work hard to keep that Rams offense guessing.

    If the Minnesota Vikings can accomplish these 3 things, they should walk out of St. Louis with a win.  But this is the NFL, and anything can happen on any given Sunday.  Vikings fans know that all too well.