10 reasons the Vikings will beat the Rams


Welcome to our first installment of “10 reasons the Vikings will win.” Expect this series to continue on Fridays during the season. Likewise, look for a more disturbing "10 reasons the Vikings will lose" every Thursday. 

10. Clutch kicking

Blair Walsh kicking indoors is a very good thing. Plus, history suggests he really likes kicking inside the Edward Jones Dome. In 2012, Walsh kicked five field goals against the Rams, including three from beyond 50 yards. NFL.com predicts two 50-plus-yard field goals for Walsh in a 26-20 Vikings victory.

9. Matt Kalil aiming for greatness

The third-year left tackle admits he had a down year in 2013, but much of his slump had to do with a left knee injury.

"I think the biggest problem I had was kicking sideways, rather than kicking back, because I didn't trust my knee to get me back there," Kalil told ESPN.com. "I'm doing it now, and my knee's fine. It's just a mental block. It takes a while. It's not going to be overnight when your knee was messed up all last year."

He'll spend most of his Sunday matched up with Robert Quinn, who finished second in the NFL with 19 1/2 sacks last season.

8. No more quarterback carousel

Almost every week of last season featured another game of Musical Quarterbacks. Ponder, Cassel, Freeman, Cassel, Ponder, Ponder, Cassel, etc. It was brutal. Matt Cassel is the starting quarterback, and he knows that he doesn't have to be looking over his shoulder for rookie Teddy Bridgewater.

Mike Zimmer gave Cassel a nod of confidence this week by saying he won't have a "quick hook" if Cassel struggles early.

For the record: Cassel was a Pro Bowl player in 2010 with the Chiefs. Todd Haley, an offensive-minded coach and Charlie Weis, an offensive guru in his own right, helped Cassel lead a potent Chiefs offense that season. Norv Turner could have the same kind of impact on Cassel this year.

7. Vikings are loaded with playmakers

Even Rams head coach Jeff Fisher admitted Minnesota has a stable filled with offensive talent. Adrian Peterson, Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings, Kyle Rudolph...

6. Shaun Hill isn't very good

Let's be honest. Shaun Hill starting at quarterback isn't a good thing for any team. He's a 34-year-old journeyman career backup. We're sure Sam Bradford's torn ACL is painful and saddening, but was he nearly crying on Thursday because of his injury or because he has to spend the next six months watching Hill?

5. Bringing the Zimmer blitz

Bleacher Report thinks Mike Zimmer will blitz the Rams a lot on Sunday.

"Pre-snap alignments like this will wreak havoc on Hill and the St. Louis offensive line, because Hill must be prepared to do a variety of things with the football as soon as he gets a true look at the blitz.

"On this exact play, Zimmer overloads one side of the formation but brings only five rushers. However, the clever scheme gets a back isolated on a defender, and the offensive line can’t slide their protection because there’s now a threat in every gap. Creating these mismatches will speed up Hill’s mental clock exponentially."

4. Because this dog says so

3. Best return man in the NFL

Cordarrelle Patterson is his name and returning kicks for touchdowns is his game. When Patterson saw Rams head coach Jeff Fisher during the offseason, he told the coach to kick him the ball.

"I told him, 'Just make sure you kick me the ball, man.' And I told him, 'Just be ready.' So I'm ready for that," he said, according to FOX Sports North.

But it sounds like Fisher doesn't plan on kicking Patterson the ball.

"If you want to create problems for yourself, you give him a returnable ball," Fisher said. "The more balls you can kick out of the end zone, the better off you are."

2. Talented receivers against a terrible secondary

Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings and Kyle Rudolph could be feasting on a brutal St. Louis secondary. The Daily Norseman says there isn't a cornerback or safety in St. Louis that can match up with Patterson and Jennings.

1. Adrian Peterson doesn't like the Rams

The Rams got under Peterson's skin in 2012 when members of the St. Louis defense were chirping at him after six of his first eight carries went for negative yards. Word to the wise: Don't poke the bear. Peterson got angry and took his ninth carry 82 yards for a touchdown. There wasn't much talking after that.

“What I do remember about that game is that it’s first time in eight years, I’ve ever talked off to players,” Peterson said, via the Star Tribune. “Those guys had me so hot, like I haven’t ever been that mad playing football.”

Next Up

vaccine, covid

St. Paul care home group will mandate COVID vaccines for staff

It comes amid reports of COVID outbreaks at homes where residents are all vaccinated, but staff are not.

Jail handcuffs arrest

Starbuck man charged with uploading, sharing child pornography

The 47-year-old was arrested after a tip from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children.


Boy, 11, seriously injured after 'fall' that police now suspect was abuse

It was initially reported that the boy slipped and fell.

police lights

Investigation underway after body found during welfare check in Plato

The identity of the deceased has not yet been revealed.

Mayor Brad Wiersum

'Please, please, please get vaccinated,' Minnetonka mayor pleads

This comes as the local state of emergency officially ends.

YouTube - Jeopardy screengrab minneapolis

Can you answer all the Minneapolis questions from this week's 'Jeopardy?'

KARE personalities including Randy Shaver and Rena Sarigianopoulos presented the clues.

Pexels - woman shop mask covid CROP

35 counties, including most of Twin Cities, now COVID hotspots

The CDC recommends everyone wear a mask in public, indoor places in these counties.

covid, coronavirus

CDC document: Delta variant as contagious as chickenpox

Vaccines remain very effective at preventing severe illness from the delta variant, however.

Flickr - smoke McGregor minnesota wildfire July 29 2021 - Lorie Shaull

'Unprecedented': The wildfire smoke isn't going anywhere this weekend

The air quality alert that was supposed to end Friday is now in effect into early next week.

Alexis Saborit

Charges: Woman killed in horrific Shakopee attack was trying to leave suspect

The shocking incident happened at an intersection Wednesday afternoon.

3M Open, Tony Finau

Multiple injuries after pickup crashes into shuttle bus at 3M Open

Blaine police listed 25 people as being involved in the collision.