Too Optimistic? (Week 4): 3 Bold Predictions for Vikings-Rams

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 09: Dalvin Cook #33 of the Minnesota Vikings catches the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the game on September 9, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the 49ers 24-16. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 09: Dalvin Cook #33 of the Minnesota Vikings catches the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the game on September 9, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the 49ers 24-16. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)



Well, Sunday was rough. Not only for the team, but for all of the fans who were watching too. Nothing seemed to go right in the Vikings’ loss to the Bills. There are so many “what if’s” too.

– What if Linval Joseph doesn’t get the penalty called on him during the first drive causing a 3 and out?

– What if Cousins doesn’t fumble twice?

– What if Diggs catches the deep bomb for a touchdown?

It is hard to come out of that game with out a lot of questions. The hope just has to be that those questions are answered Thursday night against the Rams. A strong showing this week would change the narrative quickly. Will last Sunday’s performance be looked back on as just a random poor showing or is the sky actually falling? I guess we’re about to find out.

Lets get to it though, here are my bold predictions for TNF!

Dalvin Cook has over 75 receiving yards*:

This prediction does have an asterisk next to it, as Dalvin is listed as questionable for our game against the Rams. However, if he does play, it will be important for him to get going in both the running game (which was non-existent on Sunday in his absence) and the passing game. The presence of Aaron Darnold and Ndamukong Suh could make it difficult to spark the run game early, so using swing and screen passes to Dalvin Cook will be important to start the game.

Dalvin Cook hasn’t popped out of the screen in the rushing game yet this season (last week without him wasn’t ANY better), and his best run ended in a fumble. John DeFillipo needs to put some plays together that will get his best playmaker the ball in open space. This should include some screen passes, toss plays and options to Dalvin.

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Vikings defense holds Todd Gurley to under 100 all-purpose yards:

The Vikings defense was put in tough positions a couple times on Sunday after Kirk Cousins’ fumbles. It’s very tough to keep teams out of the end-zone when their possession starts within the red-zone. However, Harrison Smith and Co. were able to hold the Bills just a field goal on one of those occasions.

Although some of this can be attributed to the score and situation, the Vikings’ defense also held Buffalo to a scoreless second half. I see them riding that momentum into Thursday night, making it a statement game against one of the best offenses in the NFL.

Stephen Weatherly has 2+ sacks:

This one is more of just a gut feeling. Weatherly is currently seen as the weak link in the defensive line, with Everson Griffen out. Stephen should see more one-on-one matchups as Hunter, Joseph and Richardson demand extra attention.

Weatherly recorded one sack on Sunday in his debut as a starter, but this week could be a more difficult task. Having to account for Todd Gurley in the back field is one thing, but the Rams offensive line is currently the best in the NFL, on top of it. Here he was before his start vs the Bills.

Again, this prediction is purely based on passion. On Sunday against the Bills, there is no doubt in my mind that the poor play can be PARTIALLY attributed to the players worrying about their friend and teammate, Everson Griffen. Thursday night however, I think the team comes out and plays FOR Everson; Playing with more fire than we have seen out of them this season so far.

Let’s bring it Vikings fans! SKOL!

Final Score prediction: Vikings 24-20 Rams

Ian Parrague @SuperSkolFan

Minnesota Sports Fan