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Will Rams Maintain Winning Streak?

September 25, 2018

The Los Angeles Rams have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the 2018 NFL season, winning all three of their matches with strong offensive performances.

Sean McVay’s men have scored over 30 points in all three of their victories. Jared Goff has taken the next step in his development to lead the offense, while Todd Gurley has maintained his impressive form.

Los Angeles are considered one of the leading contenders to win the Super Bowl this term. Their early-season displays have suggested that they’re more than capable of mounting a charge.

The only issue that could prevent a surge towards the Vince Lombardi Trophy is the health of the side. Injuries have also started to affect that defense, with Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters sidelined for the short term. The Rams remained injury-free last season, but setbacks could be crucial this term.

Minnesota endured a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Bills at home last week. The Bills had been hammered in the opening two games of the term. However, Josh Allen led Sean McDermott’s men to a stunning victory on the road, putting 27 points on the board against Minnesota’s vaunted defense.

Kirk Cousins endured a poor performance, throwing just one touchdown pass against a side that had given up over 30 points to the Los Angeles Chargers and over 40 to the Baltimore Ravens. The Vikings’ offense needs to respond against the Rams at the Coliseum on a short week.

Gurley has been consistent

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams’ offense has lived up to the hype promised in pre-season. Goff was accused of being a system quarterback, thriving only under the instructions of McVay from the sideline. However, the 24-year-old has proven his quality at the start of the season. He has thrown six touchdowns to only two interceptions, including a three-strike performance against the Chargers.

Goff completed 80% of his passes in the win last time out, highlighting his progression since his arrival in the league in 2016. Should he continue on his rate of production, Goff could be in line to challenge for the MVP award. Goff will need to remain at a high level given the issues that are beginning to emerge on the defensive side of the ball, losing key players to injury. It will be interesting to watch his progress against an elite defense where more will be expected of him to put the pressure on Cousins and company.

Los Angeles’ wideouts have been excellent to start the season. Brandin Cook has been everything McVay would have hoped for after the club traded away the first-round pick to the New England Patriots to acquire his services. He was not quite as effective against the Chargers, but remains a deep threat that all teams must respect. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods have been fine complementary weapons down the field. They’re able to get open in the redzone, offering Goff available targets to fire in tight spaces.

Gurley remains the superstar of the offense. All opposing teams must gameplan for the running back before anyone else on the Rams’ offense. He still produces despite the attention, making him one of the top five running backs in the NFL.

Defensively, the Rams have been up-and-down. They stifled a terrible Arizona Cardinals offense, shutting them out in week two. Aaron Donald has had a slow start to the term after missing training camp. Ndamukong Suh notched his first sack of the term in the win over the Chargers. They will have to improve to ease the pressure on the secondary due to the Peters and Talib injuries, while Sam Shields and Nickell Robey-Coleman have to step up.

Minnesota Vikings

After being considered leading contenders for the Super Bowl and being backed by the spread as 16-point favourites to the beat Buffalo Bills, the Vikings put forward a shocking display to lose on home soil. Minnesota were not just beaten by the Bills – they were crushed. Rookie quarterback Allen had them on toast all over the pitch. Whether using his arm or running the ball, the Vikings did not have a clue how to stop the 21-year-old. Cousins provided no relief on offense either. The 30-year-old endured one of the most frustrating games of his career.

Although he threw for 296 yards and a touchdown, his statistics lacked substance as the Vikings’ offense struggled for the majority of the game. To be considered real challenges for the NFC Championship and beyond, Mike Zimmer’s men will have to rise to the task and defeat the Rams on the road. Cousins will have to lead the charge.

On the other side of the ball the Vikings have been rocked by the absence of Everson Griffen, who is reportedly in hospital for an evaluation on his mental health. The 30-year-old has been outstanding rushing the passer and will leave a void, while he seeks the treatment before a potential return. There’s more pressure on Danielle Hunter to rise to the occasion along with Tashawn Bower and Linval Joseph. Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks need bounce back matches after being handed a tough time by Allen. The secondary also needs to improve. There’s ample talent for Zimmer, but they have to deliver to help shut down one of the best offenses in the NFL. Limiting Goff and his talented wideouts would be a solid statement to make on the road.

Betting Options

The Rams are flying high on offense now and will be determined to make a statement against Minnesota. Zimmer’s men put forward an abysmal performance last time out and will be thankful of the opportunity to put things right immediately. However, the quality of Los Angeles’ passing attack along with the force of their front seven will make life difficult for the Vikings on a short week.

Therefore take the Rams to clinch the win – their fourth of the campaign – at odds of -265  with BetOnline. Minnesota have the talent to keep the game close enough to pull within the +4.5 spread at odds of 6/5  with 888Sport. Both offenses should be on form given the Rams’ ability along with their injuries on defense that will benefit Minnesota. Take over 50 points to be score at odds of -110  with TopBet.

Woods notched two touchdowns against the Chargers last time out. Back him to find the endzone once again at odds of 39/20  with 888Sport anytime in the contest. Diggs has been a constant presence in the endzone for the Vikings. Take him to capitalise on the Rams’ injury woes by scoring his fourth touchdown of the term at 8/5 .

Tips Summary

Los Angeles Rams To Beat Minnesota Vikings
Thursday 27th September 2018 20:20 ET (Friday 28th September 2018 01:20 BST)
Odds: -265

Take +4.5 Spread Minnesota Vikings
Thursday 27th September 2018 20:20 ET (Friday 28th September 2018 01:20 BST)
Odds: 6/5

Over 49.5 Points To Be Scored In Match
Thursday 27th September 2018 20:20 ET (Friday 28th September 2018 01:20 BST)
Odds: -110

Robert Woods To Score Touchdown Anytime
Thursday 27th September 2018 20:20 ET (Friday 28th September 2018 01:20 BST)
Odds: 39/20

Stefon Diggs To Score Touchdown Anytime
Thursday 27th September 2018 20:20 ET (Friday 28th September 2018 01:20 BST)
Odds: 8/5

  • Jared Goff
  • Kirk Cousins
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • NFL

    About the author

    Simon Sinclair
    Simon Sinclair

    Sports Writer

    Simon is a freelance sports writer from the UK. He passionately writes about all kinds of sports, sharing his predictions on everything from the latest cricket matches and golf tournaments to major horse racing events and popular American sports.