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St. Louis Rams At Minnesota Vikings: Week 9 Staff Predictions

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The Rams and Vikings, both of who rank second in their respective divisions, square off in Week 9. While it may still be early, this game has playoff implications. Can the Rams steal a win on the road in Minnesota?

Michael Thomas/Getty Images

The St. Louis Rams [4-3] take to the road in Week 9 to face the Minnesota Vikings [5-2].  This may be one of the most important games of the season for the St. Louis Rams, who some are uttering in the same sentence with the word "playoffs."  It’s been some time since that’s been the case.

Do the Rams have what it takes to secure a win on the road in Week 9 and stay above .500 on the year? The Turf Show Times staff have their predictions...

Sean Wilkinson [@Papa_Lurch]

Playing the Vikings will provide the first true measure of where the Rams stand post-bye. Sure they've beat up on CLE and SF, but those were games they were expected to win. Playing Minnesota will not be a gimme as the previous 2 games have been.

This game will likely come down to 3rd down conversions for the Rams. If they can convert on offense with any consistency, they will win. If not, they will fall short. Only converting one 3rd down won't suffice against a playoff caliber team.

Don't let us down now Rams....

Prediction:  Rams win 20-12

Eric Nagel [@Eric_nagel]

As the most unbiased judge of the Rams on this site, I've decided it's my moral obligation to finally submit a prediction.

I predict two of these things will definitely happen, the third is much more up-in-the-air:

-Todd Gurley

-Defense

-Win

If you can guess which two above are locks, good for you.

Prediction:  Rams win 23-13

DouglasM [@thenovelroad]

It's all about the Peterson... Yes, he's a multi-faceted Rams killer, bent on the destruction of all that's good in the world. Adrian Peterson is the key to this game, and absolutely no one else. Say "Diggs", and I scoff. Sing the guy's name who sounds like a Simon and Garfunkel song, and I may try to launch into a falsetto-soprano for a second - straining my normal baritone - but when my mind clears I know he's just another "Teddy"...

The Vikings' defense is actually better than most think, and once again it should be the "Todd Gurley Show" for the St. Louis Rams. Tavon Austin could have an interesting day, but it would hinge on the offense as a whole dialing things up a notch. What worries me is how mono-dimensional the Rams' offense is right now? Defensive coordinators are a clever bunch, and the thought they won't find ways to stop Gurley is rather absurd. This game needs to be a Nick Foles "getting-it-together" outing.

Prediction: Rams win 33-13

P.S. - I wrote this one fast, since, well... Have you ever seen Brandon "beg"? It's just sad... No really!

BMule [@_BMule]

The Vikings are 3-0 at home and boast an underrated defense. The Rams lone road win came against the NFC W 1st place Cardinals. The Rams defense is playing very well currently and have Todd Gurley running like a man on fire. The Vikings have been nothing but trouble for the Rams in recent years and AP doesn't appear to have lost a step. Minnesota has wins against Detroit twice, a Jamaal Charles-less Chiefs, an overrated Chargers, and the Bears. I want to pick Rams to win but expect the offense to take a step back and have to give to the edge to the home team on this one but it should be a hard fought game.

Prediction: Vikings win 22-16.

northwestRAMSfan [@troilus22]

Two teams with serious playoff aspirations will meet in this one. While this game won't clinch anything, it is very important for potential NFC wild card seeding. The game features two great running backs, and two very good defenses. The Vikings have built their 5-2 record against one of the NFLs easiest schedules, but their roster is littered with emerging young talent. If the Rams can stop the run as well as get Gurley going early they will win this game. The Vikings surrender very few long run plays, but are towards the bottom in terms of yards per rush allowed. That could spell for more consistent positive gains for Gurley. The Rams did take down the previously unbeaten Arizona Cardinals on the road, so they have shown ability to get it done away from the dome. Rams win 23-13 as Gurley continues to impress.

Prediction:  Rams win 23-13

sergey606 [@thatsergey]

Back in June I called this the most important game on the Rams schedule, I was speculating that both of these teams would be fighting for the final Wild Card spot half way through the season. The Rams need this win a little more than the Vikings, as they have a better record. A win here will put the Rams in the playoff picture since they will have a tie-breaker.

Both of the teams are playing pretty well on defense and just good enough on offense to produce some wins. I'm expecting a pretty sloppy offensive game and it should be low-scoring. I'm expecting plenty of field goals, so Greg's leg will be a major factor. He cannot have one of "those" games that Rams fans are used to. He'll probably get 5 chances at a FG - don't leave any of those 15 points on the field. I think AP will be contained most of the game, but will still get to 90 yards. Todd gets to 100 yards again. Both teams WRs will have below average days. Lots of punting, lots of FGs, probably a pick-6, lots of frustration for both offenses.

As BMule wrote in an article earlier this week, when the Rams are being hyped-up, the Vikings sure know how to dump water on their fire.


All of that being said: 16-13 Vikings.  Hope my streak of being wrong continues.

Prediction:  Vikings win 16-13

Eddie P [@iAmEddieP_]

The Rams defense hasn't allowed more than 100 rushing yards in each of the last three games. That will be put to the test with Adrian Peterson. Mark Barron had really shined at linebacker & he will be key to stop & clog up Peterson's lanes. The rookie receiver, Diggs, is good & a playmaker for Teddy Bridgewater but Janoris is in full #ClampSeason mode. I think our defense will stop the Vikings. Our offense will have to put up some numbers. Can Britt have his lone breakout game of the season here? We're going to need more than Tavon & Gurley to consistently win.

Prediction:  Rams win 24-13

GoRamsGo

This is definitely one of the most important games of the season. To earn a wildcard spot, the Rams will need to either beat out the Falcons or Vikings--a loss here puts them two games back of both games and digging themselves out of that hole would be difficult. This needs to be a win.

That said, the Rams and Vikings are unbelievably similar teams. Both have amazing running games. Both have quarterbacks who haven't been the best. Both defenses are among the top in the league.

I like our defense over theirs. Our defensive line is truly top class, and our defense has gotten the job done all season. Our offense, on the other hand, is slightly worse than theirs. However, I do like that mirror image of Tavon/Gurley and Diggs/Peterson.

Regardless, one thing to watch is that Bridgewater has been sacked 20 times this season. The Rams have sacked QBs 26 times; this means that Bridgewater could very well go down 5+ times. The Rams also seem to handle star running backs rather well as Marshawn Lynch always seems in check against them, and Eddie Lacy was held down pretty well too. I could see Peterson hitting the 90ish range, maybe 100, but he won't surpass 120. Bridgewater will have below 200 yards. The pass rush will handle him too well for him to overcome and put together a solid game.

Todd Gurley will continue the streak and rack up a hefty some of rushing despite the Vikings' defense. Ultimately, though, I can't trust Nick Foles in this one. I could see him throwing a pair of picks and costing the Rams an otherwise-winnable game.

The Rams have had a harder schedule than the Vikings thus far, but that fortune reverses from here out in the season. To me, this is a toss-up game--Rams would win this game at home, but on the road, it'll be tough. Complete split.

The Rams are 3-1 with Todd Gurley starting, only losing in Lambeau Field. I'll play the hot hand and hope the Vikings are weaker than it seems and have an inflated record due to schedule.

Prediction:  Rams win 17-13

RamBuck [@lannyosu]

These teams are cut from the same cloth, and a lot of the narratives support that claim.  Big, fast backs? Check. Swarming and talented defenses? Check. Inconsistent QB play? Check. Speedy and dangerous perimeter players? Check. So, naturally I think it will be a tie.

Prediction:  Rams 20, Vikings 20 in OT

3k [@3k_]


Prediction: Rams win 20-13

Brandon Bate [@NoPlanB_]

I’m not even sure I see a difference in these two teams...

* QB’s who play "good enough" to win []
* Stud running backs []
* Explosive play-makers emerging at wide receiver []
* Extremely talented young defenses []
* Often inconsistent offensive line play []
* Kickers who’ve staked their claim to the nickname "Legatron" []

To me, you can throw out the "Vikings have won the last three" or "Rams won the last one in Minnesota" notions.  The Rams typically play up to the competition, and that’s the good news in Week 9.  The Vikings are a very talented team, and securing victory this Sunday won’t come easy.

What it will come down to is exactly what you’d think it would...the Rams’ defense keeping it close, and the offense doing enough on first and second downs to make third manageable [insert Todd Gurley].  The true test for the Rams though, after the early downs, will be executing  -- something the Rams are doing a league-low 25.9% of the time on third down plays.

Final thought:  The Rams’ defense will undoubtedly put pressure on Teddy Bridgewater this Sunday.  He’s flashed not only the ability to elude pass rushers, but has proven very accurate under those circumstances.  And, for that reason, I’m giving the edge to the Vikings this week.

Prediction:  Vikings win 20-17