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Los Angeles Rams 7, Minnesota Vikings 7: Playoffs in November

The Rams are deadlocked with the NFC South-leading Vikings on the road. This is what the playoffs feel like, Rams fans.

Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings
Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

This is playoffs-caliber football.

The Los Angeles Rams are tied up 7-7 with the Minnesota Vikings on the road in what is turning into a very competitive game that could be a significant preview of the football to come.

Overall, there’s a lot to like here as a Rams fan.

QB Jared Goff is playing very well. While his 2017 and 2016 seasons are night and day, it’s still very comforting to get two quarters like this from Goff in what is higher-caliber football than what we’ve gotten for the last month. The Vikings have one of the NFL’s better defenses, so to come out of the half with a showing like that from Goff remains a significant positive. The Rams could use more out of the ground game, but perhaps the passing game is going to loosen things up. And defensively, the Rams have bottled up the Vikings pretty well. Just one scoring possession and a missed field goal is all that Minnesota has cobbled together with QB Case Keenum scrambling for his life most of that half.

And yeah, to not be losing at halftime on the road against a good team? I’m fine enjoying that level of competency.

The bad?

Well, it’s going to be very, very hard to stave off discussions about WR Cooper Kupp. His fumble at the one-yard line is the main reason the Rams aren’t leading right now. And it’s obviously going to invite calls to avoid using him in the red zone. Personally, I’d prefer to give him a chance at redemption, but I wouldn’t be horribly upset if he’s excluded in those situations moving forward. Big games need big moments and right now, that big moment is something the Rams might not be able to afford, ultimately.

The bottom line is that this is a game between two good teams that are likely headed to the postseason barring a late season meltdown.

This is what they play the games for.

And now we get to see just how ready the Rams are for the kind of challenges that lie ahead.