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:
If you can guess which two above are locks, good for you.
Prediction: Rams win 23-13
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!
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.
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
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.
Eddie P [@iAmEddieP_]
The one that wouldn't give me a cup of water when I was thirsty
It was always him versus me, but now I gotta teach him
Personal feelings put aside, cause now I gotta reach him
What I'd like to do is turn my head, like I don't know him
But it seems like I've been called on to show him, so I'ma show him
And if you never met me, then you've no right to judge me
I've got a good heart but this heart can get ugly
Brandon Bate [@NoPlanB_]