The Rams rolled into Minnesota on Sunday after winning four straight games by a combined score of 144-41, but the fun came to an end against the Vikings.
The score remained tied 7-7 through three quarters, but the Vikings put 17 points on the board in the fourth quarter and won the battle of the division leaders 24-7 to keep their own impressive run of play going. The big plays from the previous four games were nowhere to be found on either side of the ball and the Rams left as losers.
One spin on that would be that the Rams feasted on the likes of the Texans, Giants and Cardinals and still have work to do when it comes to handling tougher opposition. Another comes from left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who believes the team simply “needed adversity.”
“If we get this opportunity in the playoffs, and get a chance to get in, then we’ll be prepared for it,” Whitworth said, via the Orange County Register. “Those are the kind of games you’re going to play, if you want to play after the regular season, if you want to play late in the year in big games. This is the atmosphere you’re going to have to learn how to play and win in.”
They won’t have to wait long to show they learned those lessons. They host the Saints and Eagles in Weeks 12 and 14 before heading to Seattle in Week 15, so they will have ample chances to show that it was just a matter of learning and not a matter of being a step behind other NFC contenders.
If Whitworth’s right, the Rams should be NFC West champs. If not, it may just be that this Rams teams wasn’t as ready to go from 0 to 60 as the 1999 edition.