Vikings-Rams game scout

Get the basics for Sunday's game – the series history, keys to the game, fast facts and notes on the Vikings and Rams.

Sunday
Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) at Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
Cleveland Browns (0-4) at Buffalo Bills (1-3)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-1)
Indianapolis Colts (4-0) at Tennessee Titans (0-4)
Dallas Cowboys (2-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (0-4)
Atlanta Falcons (2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (3-1)
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) at Seattle Seahawks (1-3)
New England Patriots (3-1) at Denver Broncos (4-0)
Oakland Raiders (1-3) at New York Giants (4-0)
Washington Redskins (2-2) at Carolina Panthers (0-3)
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) at Detroit Lions (1-3)
Houston Texans (2-2) at Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
Minnesota Vikings (4-0) at St. Louis Rams (0-4)
Monday
New York Jets (3-1) at Miami Dolphins (1-3)

Minnesota Vikings (4-0) at St. Louis Rams (0-4)


KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 10/11/09
SURFACE: FieldTurf
TV: FOX (Chris Myers, Charles Davis)

SERIES


34th regular-season meeting. Vikings lead series, 17-14-2. The teams also have met seven times in the postseason with the Vikings holding a 5-2 advantage.

KEYS TO THE GAME

The Rams will find it difficult to run against Minnesota's defense allowing 89.5 rushing yards per game, and St. Louis has a very young and inexperienced group of wideouts. The one area Minnesota has been vulnerable is down the seam, as the Vikings have allowed 30 catches for 358 yards and four touchdowns to tight ends. Backup QB Kyle Boller is expected to start his second straight game and needs to utilize TE Randy McMichael to complement the ground game.

Minnesota's offense will hammer away with RBs Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor early. The Rams give up 135 rushing yards per game, and once the ground game is established then QB Brett Favre will use play-action to exploit single coverage outside.

FAST FACTS

  • Vikings RB Adrian Peterson leads the league with 96 rushes of 10-plus yards since 2007.

  • The Rams have an NFL-high 14-game losing streak.

    VIKINGS NOTES

  • The Vikings will be looking to earn their 400th victory in franchise history. The team's all-time record stands at 399-322-9.

  • The Vikings beat the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship game in 1974 (14-10) and 1976 (24-13), both times at old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minn.

  • Since the Rams moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis in 1995 they are 3-2 against the Vikings in the regular season and 4-2 including the postseason. St. Louis has won four of the past five meetings. That includes a 49-37 victory in the 1999 NFC divisional playoffs. Before the Rams move to St. Louis, the Vikings had won the previous five games.

  • DE Jared Allen had six tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in his only game against the Rams as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 5, 2006.

  • QB Brett Favre completed 23 of 32 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns and had a 104.7 passer rating in Green Bay's 34-24 loss to St. Louis on Oct. 19, 2003. Favre played much of that game with a broken thumb on his throwing hand.

  • Favre's three touchdown passes against Green Bay give him a career total of 63 on "Monday Night Football." Former Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino holds the mark with 74 from 1983 to 1999.

  • RB Adrian Peterson's 27 rushing touchdowns in his first three seasons are a team record. Chuck Foreman held the previous mark with 26 from 1973-75.

  • Visanthe Shiancoe's 10 touchdown receptions as a Viking makes him only the sixth tight end in franchise history to reach 10 career receiving touchdowns. Steve Jordan is the all-time leader among tight ends in Vikings history with 28 scoring receptions.

  • CB Antoine Winfield intercepted his 15th pass a member of the Vikings on Monday night against Green Bay, tying him for 14th place in franchise history.

    RAMS NOTES

  • The names of Dave Checketts and Rush Limbaugh have the most sizzle, but they comprise merely one of six groups that have made a bid to buy the Rams from owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriquez.

    Checketts is the managing partner of the NHL's St. Louis Blues, while Limbaugh is a controversial talk-radio host.

    The value of the bids has not been revealed, and while numerous numbers have been tossed out as speculation, Rosenbloom and Rodriguez are believed only to be willing to sell if the price is right.

  • QB Marc Bulger threw in practice Wednesday, but did not take any snaps with the first team. Bulger has done some throwing every day since doing some light throwing prior to last Sunday's game against San Francisco.

    Bulger suffered a bruised rotator cuff in Week 3 against Green Bay.

    Said Bulger, "From last week to this week, I've gotten a lot of range of motion back. I've been in (the trainers' room) twice a day pretty much, working on that and the strength, massaging it, getting the inflammation out."

    Bulger tried mostly short passes, and added there is only slight pain, but he still has to get some strength back.

    "I didn't throw real far," he said. "We don't want to aggravate it."

    Said coach Steve Spagnuolo, "We're trying to take it easy and not make certain throws. I thought he looked OK."

  • It is often said that the biggest adjustment for a new head coach is dealing with losing. Steve Spagnuolo is getting a lot of experience in that early.

    The Rams have lost four straight games to start the season, but Spagnuolo said his message remains the same.

    He said, "I only know that, again I know I said this yesterday when somebody tried to attach the first three games to this one, I don't go that route. I don't attach different seasons; we take it one week at a time. It is going to sound like a broken record, but it is not going to change. Once we start winning, it is not going to change then either. I don't know any other way to do it.

    "The season is long and you take them one at a time and know we will just be focusing on Minnesota. I believe that the guys believe it the same way. Hopefully we stay together and believe in what we are doing, something positive will happen."

    He added, "Nothing I'm going to say is going to be different than what I've been saying all year long. I believe in this group. I believe we can get out of this, work our way out of it."

    When asked if the volume attached to the message remains the same, Spagnuolo said, "If it gets louder, they don't listen at all. No, the message is the message. I don't have to yell and scream about it."

  • In Sunday's loss to San Francisco, the Rams were faced with a third-down play where less than a yard was needed for a first down. RB Steven Jackson was on the sideline for the play and RB Samkon Gado lost one yard.

    Asked about why Jackson wasn't in the game, coach Steve Spagnuolo said, "I'm not a hundred percent sure. I want to say - don't quote me on this - that there was an equipment issue (with Jackson). I don't know that."

    Even so, the coach claimed that wasn't an issue on the play's result.

    "I'm not so sure it would've mattered who was carrying the ball," Spagnuolo said. "The guy came off the corner. They had the right call in that situation. It set us back a little bit."

  • Coach Steve Spagnuolo named DT Clifton Ryan, OG Richie Incognito and RB Kenneth Darby (special teams) as game captains for this week.

    Incognito was benched for two series in the season opener after incurring his second personal foul.

    "It shows the confidence the coach has in me," Incognito said.


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