As we well know by now, the
St. Louis Los Angeles Rams offense posted an aggressive 38 points during their Thursday Night Football featured defeat of our beloved Minnesota Vikings.
Throughout the entire shootout themed evening, Mike Zimmer’s defenses’ inability to stop even a nose bleed has certain members of Skol Nation punching their panic buttons.
The purpose of this article is to serve as a poor man’s public service announcement to those Purple blooded individuals:
Why the need to keep the composure? Because I’m a participation trophy receiving Millennial who can’t handle the negativity?
Nope. Not this time, folks.
It’s because, in my opinion, tweaking over the long term ability of Minnesota’s defense is an inappropriate overreaction. The problem on Thursday was, as discussed in the five bullet points below, that the deck was completely stacked against them.
1: Thursday Game on the West Coast
During the week’s short prep time, Mike Zimmer made it clear that he wasn’t thrilled with the NFL schedule makers having his squad make the long California trek.
Here are the “statistics about going to the West Coast on a short week” that the head coach was referencing:
Make that 11 games and 11 losers for the Eastern or Central time zone. Per usual, Zimmer had a point. Sharpen the saw, Roger Goodell.
2: Xavier Rhodes’ Matchup
All-Pro CB’s Xavier Rhodes’ ability to basically shut down opposing team’s top WR is arguably Minnesota’s defenses’ most dangerous weapon.
However, one of the most dangerous weapons in an attempt to counter the lengthy CB is a “short/shifty WR.”
On that Kryptonite-esque note, enter Mr. Brandin Cooks:
While it’s like not Cooks, who spent last season in New England, was out their torching Xavier, he did make a couple of nice plays against number 29.
How much of Rhodes late game anger can be chalked up to Cooks is debatable. However, what’s not debatable is whether or not the Rams had the 2x Pro Bowler frustrated.
In addition to booting the yellow cloth, the Vikings CB, who has himself a little history of cramping up, appeared to be dealing with tight like a tiger leg muscles once again.
Maybe he should hit up Lebron about the cramps situation. Inquiring with King James as to how he overcame his low potassium level related issue can’t hurt.
3: Anthony Barr’s Performance
After week three featured Josh Allen hurdling him like he was some sort of dwarf fence, Anthony Barr lost even more face during Minnesota’s most recent sixty minutes of pigskin.
Jared Goff, who we’ll address in a second, ended his prolific evening with a handful of touchdowns passes. When breaking down said passes on a tuddy-by-tuddy basis, you’ll see that three of them went to Barr’s assigned man.
As ratty as that may sound, and as much as it makes fans crank up their questions Anthony Barr related questions, the entire hat trick’s worth of plays were an X’s & O’s issue.
The first of the three Barr victimized scores came with the UCLA alum matched one on one against arguably the best RB in the world, Todd Gurley. In regards to the the other two, they came with the LB isolated against a WR.
Obviously, Mike Zimmer’s scheme against Sean McVay’s big offensive football brain didn’t do Anthony any favors in the aftermath of his Josh Allen induced nightmare.
4: Jared Goff’s Performance
Thursday night’s 465 yard, 5 touchdown performance by Jared Goff seems to have served as a sort of national coming out party for Rams QB.
Although much of that absurd stat line, and the corresponding public attention, can be contributed to his head coach, Goff did make his fair share of big time throws.
In particular, the third year gunslinger showed off his elite arm ability on the two passing touchdowns that didn’t feature Anthony Barr on an island. The first of which came when he dropped it in an absolute bucket over two Viking defenders for a beautiful back of the end-zone completion.
As for the other toss:
The only turnover of the back-and-forth contest came with less than two minutes when Kirk Cousins fumbled to all but secure the win for Los Angeles. If, before that moment, Jared Goff makes a mistake, Minnesota easily could have won that shootout.
5: The Rams are currently the best team in the NFL
In addition to doing the Rams favors on the field, Jared Goff helps plenty off of the field as well. As mentioned earlier in this article, this is the Cal alum’s third year in the league. Meaning, he is still on his rookie deal.
Goff’s cap hit for this current season is only $7,619,365. His bargain bin deal greatly assisted in allowing Los Angeles to spend the offseason absolutely stack their offensive (and defensive) roster.
Anywho, to wrap up this makeshift rebuttal, hopefully, this piece served it’s assigned duty as a proverbial Xanax anxiety-ridden Viking fans.
Hey, speaking of anxiety, the next time we see the boys compete, they’ll be in Philadelphia: