Coming off their Tuesday win over the Seattle Seahawks, the Los Angeles Rams travel to Minnesota. This matchup with the Vikings will be a high-stakes game for both teams.
The Rams are currently riding a three-game win streak. On Sunday they get their shot at clinching a highly coveted playoff spot. The Vikings on the other hand are smack dab in the middle of the NFC wild-card race tied with a 7-7 record alongside the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints.
Losses for either team will shake up the playoff picture dramatically but with the Rams on the verge of punching their ticket in they should be locked in to put on a great performance.
Here’s how they can do it.
Wear Them Down With Kupp
As displayed time and time again there is simply no answer for Cooper Kupp. He is by far the best wide receiver this season. His record setting pace to contend for the triple crown and most receiving yards in a single season has vaulted his name into the MVP conversation. On Sunday there’s no reason to believe why he won’t continue producing at an elite level. The Vikings are dead last in defending the pass. Stafford should give Kupp a video game like stat line in which projects to be a high scoring affair.
Put Ramsey on Jefferson
One perk about having a guy like Jalen Ramsey is his ability to shut down any star receiver. This week him and the Rams secondary will get Justin Jefferson. Jefferson is second behind Kupp in receiving yards and is having a Pro Bowl season of his own. Similar to Kupp Jefferson is a route running maniac and possesses the skill set to change the outcome of any game. With this in mind Sean McVay should utilize Ramsey’s man coverage prowess and allow him to shadow Jefferson most of the game.
Stop the Backfield
Few teams in the NFL have the luxury of deploying a good run attack when their starter is out. Unfortunately for the Rams talented back up for the Vikings Alexander Mattison has filled the void exceptionally well when Dalvin Cook’s been out. On Sunday Cook will be out on the COVID-19/ reserve list. The defense will not only have to clog the running lanes but account for Mattison catching passes out of the backfield. It’s a tall order for a unit that’s had its struggles this season but they seem to be clicking over the past few games. The steady improvement should pay dividends Sunday.
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