Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
The Rams' run defense has improved throughout the whole season, and they are going to need it to stop Adrian Peterson and the Vikings.
With last week's victory over the Buffalo Bills, The St. Louis Rams are on a three game winning streak – the first in about six years. Now, the team is looking forward to making it four in a row against stud running back Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings at the Edward Jones Dome.
It's obvious that the Rams HAVE to slow down Peterson to have a chance of continuing their hunt for a playoff berth. He is the league's leading rusher with sixteen-hundred yards so it is no secret that he is the Vikings' offense, especially with Percy Harvin on injured reserve.
Here are your Rams players to watch for Week 15:
The Rams are 13th against the run this season. There is no need to reiterate how atrocious the team has been in years past in the same category. The improvement can be attributed to a revamped defensive line, with Brockers and Kendall Langford anchoring down the middle.
Versus the Vikings, with Peterson toting the rock, the defense has to continue its strong outings against the running game. The unit has done a swell job at keeping running backs in check, and it needs to continue this Sunday.
This is basically a continuation of stopping Peterson. If Adrian Peterson makes it past the defensive line – it's not really a question of if, it's more of when and how often – the linebackers have to stop him. Dunbar and Rocky McIntosh have fared better than previous outside linebackers.
Jared Allen is still a big presence on the Vikings' defensive line. Despite not being anywhere near last year's sack total (22), he still has a very respectable nine sacks. The task of keeping Allen out of the backfield and away from Sam Bradford falls on Saffold's shoulders.
Saffold has fared well thus far in pass protection. According to Pro Football Focus, he has a grade of 9.4 in pass blocking. He rarely allows pressure on Bradford, only giving up two sacks, one hit, and four hurries on the season. Lets hope he keeps it up against the Vikings.
SJ is 71 yards away from reaching the 10,000 mark. He is also 164 yards away from his eighth consecutive thousand rushing yard season. Those two numbers are key for SJ39. It would be great for the offense if Jackson can gain the 164 yards on Sunday, but the team would take the 71 yards too. The point is that Jackson has to be productive for the offense to tick, as well as tock.
Before last week's six catch/100 yard game, Gibson had a three game span where he only caught three passes for a grand total of nine yards. in two of those three games, Brandon had zero catches and, surprisingly, zero targets.
For everyone's sake, Gibson needs to repeat last week's performance.
Now, what do y'all say? Which one of these players is more crucial for a victory? Go at it in the comment section. Leave an explanation for your choice.
Which player is more vital for a Rams' win against the Vikings?
Michael Brockers (127 votes)
Jo-Lonn Dunbar (22 votes)
Rodger Saffold (23 votes)
Steven Jackson (85 votes)
Brandon Gibson (12 votes)
Pfffffft, Somebody Else, Homie... (36 votes)
305 total votes