At the time, it was a game between two upstarts, two franchises who had failed to find success for a decade. Since then, both teams have won their three games pushing both into postseason discussions as the playoff standings begin to take shape. The strange turn to this story is that for the Rams, those three games avoided testing these newborn Rams in a meaningful way.
With Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer knocked out of the game with a broken arm in Week 7, a Drew Stanton-led Cards side offered little resistance. Coming out of the bye in Week 9, Head Coach Ben McAdoo's New York Giants proved to be as dysfunctional as any team in the NFL this year. Last week was setting up to be a major matchup between the Rams and the Houston Texans, but a knee injury to QB Deshaun Watson turned it into little more than yet another trap game test the Rams passed with flying colors.
So today's matchup between the Rams and the Minnesota Vikings stands as the first game since that matchup against Jacksonville as the first real test to determine the quality of the 2017 Rams. And it's a test to be followed by many to come.
Today against the 7-2 NFC North-leading Vikings, the Rams will have their hands full. The Vikings have long had a stiff defense under Head Coach Mike Zimmer. This year though, things look much improved on the offensive side to boot. And with contests against the NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints and NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles in the offing, today is the first day in more than a month to learn something substantive about the 2017 Los Angeles Rams.
Buckle up. School's in session.