St. Louis Rams look to avenge loss to Minnesota Vikings

The St. Louis Rams' season-opening loss to the Minnesota Vikings a year ago is fresh in their memories as they prepare to play the rematch.

William Hayes said you can learn a lot from the St. Louis Rams's 34-6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the 2014 season opener. 

“You can learn the things that you don’t need to do on the football field,” the Rams defensive end said. “It was bad football all across the board — offense and defense. Minnesota kind of had their way with us the past couple years, since I’ve been here, so hopefully we can try to turn things around.”

The Rams (4-3) go into Sunday’s rematch against the Vikings (5-2) in Minnesota looking for a much better showing than the last meeting at the Edward Jones Dome. 

Hayes especially. 

“It was probably one of those games that I’d probably say I played the worst since I’ve been here,” he said. “This is a little bit more personal for me this week because the more I look at it, the more embarrassed I’m getting. So I’m just going to go out there and put some good stuff on film this week.”

That 34-6 loss a year ago is still a bad memory from the Rams. 

St. Louis did a decent job containing Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who was limited to 75 yards on 21 carries and 18 yards receiving on two catches, but the Rams struggled in other areas.

Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson gained 102 yards rushing on three carries, including a 67-yarder, and Matt Cassel threw touchdown passes to Greg Jennings and Kyle Rudolph

The Rams gained just 72 yards rushing on 22 carries. Shaun Hill started at quarterback, just a few weeks after Sam Bradford's season-ending knee injury, but then Hill got hurt late in the first half. Austin Davis made his NFL debut in the second half but couldn’t rally the Rams.

“It bothered us because we felt like the guys that we kind of planned for didn’t make the big plays,” Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers said. “It was kind of the guys we didn’t plan for — Cordarrelle Patterson. We really weren’t ready for them to use all those gadget plays that they used.”

Brockers pointed out this week’s matchup is a different game with two different teams. 

“I definitely think this year we’ve got a pretty good game plan for them,” he said. “It’s the same thing — shut A.P. down. It always starts with him first.”

The Vikings entered Sunday’s showdown ranking fifth in the NFL in rushing yards at 131 per game. The Rams now rank third at 132 rushing yards per game. 

“It’s always tough when that’s the first game, the home opener, to set off the season,” Rams free safety Rodney McLeod said of last year’s loss. “Obviously we didn’t set the tone for the season how we wanted it to go. Obviously we’re a different team now, different quarterback, different guys on our team. As well as them. So it’s two totally different teams, so it’s going to be a good battle on Sunday.”

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

 


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