The Los Angeles Rams punched their ticket into the post season for the fourth time in five seasons. LA beat the Minnesota Vikings 30-23 with their defense and special teams rising to the occasion while the offense gave up three interceptions. The Rams move on to 11-4 and take the lead in the NFC West. Here are the top three takeaways from the Sunday morning Minnesota matchup.
DEFENSE STEPS UP
Ernest Jones was taken out with injury early in the game and Travin Howard stepped in and immediately impacted the game with an interception the red zone. Jalen Ramsey shut down the Vikings top receiver Justin Jefferson and Aaron Donald had three tackles for loss and a strip sack to add to the attack.
SPECIAL TEAMS CAME THROUGH
With the offense enduring some struggles, the special teams came up big. Finally and perhaps right on time, the Rams seem to have found and answer to the return man riddle. Brandon Powell had a 61 yard punt return touchdown in the third quarter after a pair of second half Stafford interceptions. Also this time in crunch time with the onside kick coming, the hands team came through and Van Jefferson secured the game.
MATTHEW STAFFORD STRUGGLED
Stafford threw three interceptions and missed on a couple of key throws to secure first downs. He did however throw a touchdown to Odell Beckham Jr. and a key 37 yard 3rd down pass to Cooper Kupp. As a leader he kept things rolling and kept the group from collapse while missing three starting offensive lineman including Andrew Whitworth and Brian Allen.
And now for today’s links: