This one was a potential trap for the Vikings, given that they had just played two tough games against the 49ers and Packers and they’ve got three big ones looming against the Ravens, Steelers, and Packers.
So much for that.
But even as we listen to Charles Davis (who worked the game for FOX) tell Dan Patrick that the Vikings scored a quick 14 and coasted from there, this game easily could have been a lot closer.
On their first drive, the Rams had moved to the Minnesota 35 before Kyle Boller made like Garo Yepremian and Jared Allen made like Jim Marshall pointed in the right direction.
Two drives later, the Rams moved all the way to the Minnesota one before a fumble kept them from cutting the score to 14-7.
The next Rams drive saw the team take the ball to the 11 before settling for a field goal.
Later, trailing again by 14, the Rams fumbled inside the Minnesota ten.
The Vikes scored another touchdown on their first drive of the third quarter, and then at 24-3 it was too late for the Rams to turn it around.
Of course, the fact that the Rams couldn’t execute in key moments kept them from threatening the Vikings. But St. Louis moved the ball surprisingly well, gaining 400 yards to Minnesota’s 377.
So maybe Brett Favre should have considered the game film and not just the highlights before declaring, “I think physically and from a talent standpoint, this is the best team I’ve ever been on.”
Apart from a supposedly stout defense that is conjuring memories of the bend-but-don’t-break units under the post-Dungy Denny Green era, the greatest running back in the league hasn’t had great numbers since his Week One visit to Cleveland. On Sunday, Peterson managed only 69 yards on 15 carries.
But Peterson isn’t complaining. “Our offense is totally different now,” Peterson said. “We got so many playmakers that can make plays, and so many ways we can beat people now.”
As Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press points out, Peterson is actually ahead of his numbers from last year. But it feels like a down year because folks were predicting that Peterson would rack up anywhere from 2,200 to 3,000 rushing yards.
Regarding the stat that matters most, the Vikings are 5-0. And given that Favre had never previously played for a 5-0 team, his observation possibly isn’t too far off the mark.
With respect to the Rams, the losing streak now stands at 15. If they lose to the Jags next week, they’ll complete the NFL’s version of the Tiger Slam.
It’s way too early to start talking about the Rams losing all 16 games this year. If they do, however, the last loss of the season will match Tampa’s all-time mark for losing futility at 26 games.