A true Thursday night showdown, Kirk Cousins and the Vikings versus Jared Goff and the Rams. This matchup could prove to be one of the greatest games fans could witness in 2018.
The Minnesota Vikings came into the season with a brand new quarterback under center, a quarterback who is ready to make the jump from average to elite. The Los Angeles Rams are buckled up, ready to show the league that last season was just the beginning of their new reign.
With many thinking this Thursday night game could be a preview of the NFC Championship come January, who takes home the win?
Los Angeles currently sits at an impressive (3-0) record in year two of the Jared Goff/Sean McVay era, while Minnesota is surprisingly stuck at ones all across the board (1-1-1). Both teams have a star-studded offense, and both also have downright nasty defenses.
The Rams are coming off of a battle for Los Angeles against the Chargers full of offense (35-23), while their Thursday night opponents had their necks rung (6-27) by the Buffalo Bills. Los Angeles appears to be rolling right along while Minnesota may not be on easy street as they thought with Kirk Cousins.
Los Angeles and Minnesota will square off in the first FOX-televised Thursday Night Football game, which is also Minnesota’s first return to a stadium in Los Angeles in 26 years. Minnesota will look to break that lockdown at one-all, while Los Angeles hopes to continue along as one of the few teams remaining undefeated.
Game Concept Keys for the Coaches:
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has a lot of work to do Thursday night against the Rams, and his first main goal has got to be shutting down that electric offense, anchored by quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley. Zimmer’s second challenge of the evening will be to find a way to get his offense past Los Angeles’ stout defense, which includes former defensive player of the year Aaron Donald.
The third and perhaps biggest challenge for Zimmer will be how to reroute his team from their dreadful performance last Sunday against Josh Allen and the Bills. Minnesota looked like a completely different team than anyone expected on Sunday, and it’s up to Zimmer to help turn them around to the right direction.
On the other sideline, the second year, 32-year old coach of the Rams Sean McVay will have his hands full just as much as Zimmer, just in slightly different ways. First and foremost, health could be a major factor for Los Angeles’ defense, if star cornerbacks Aqib Talib (placed on injured reserve) and Marcus Peters are out, that poses a major problem for McVay.
McVay’s second priority has got to be finding a way to get Gurley past the bulls on Minnesota’s defensive line, and once he does, then finding ways to get away from linebacker Anthony Barr.
McVay’s final challenge during this Thursday night matchup is holding his team’s lead and not letting up, as this Vikings team has a habit of making comebacks.
Here’s how to watch Thursday night’s matchup in Los Angeles:
Television: FOX (National broadcast)
Time: 8:20 p.m. EST
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Online Streaming: Amazon Prime, Fubo TV