2012 NFL Week 15 Preview: St. Louis Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings
If the St. Louis Rams want to keep their slim at best playoff hopes alive, it’s going to take a fourth consecutive win, against a red hot Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings. The St. Louis Rams are hot of late, and have been eking out some ugly but necessary victories against some more than respectable opponents. Unfortunately for the Rams, I think this winning streak ends at 3 and their playoffs hopes will all but disappear with the loss.
The Rams offense has been average at best all year, but have a real good opportunity to get things going against Minnesota’s defense. Bradford will most likely have to find a way to get things going without his favorite target Danny Amendola. He is listed as day-to-day but all reports indicate he will not be playing, and if he does I can’t imagine he’ll be all that effective for the Rams. If he doesn’t play the Rams are going to need improved play from Chris Givens, and Brandon Gibson will have to put up an encore performance following his coming out party in Buffalo last week for the Rams to be successful on offense. That and blocking Jared Allen.
Their defensive game planning begins and ends with stopping Adrian Peterson. The Vikings were leaning on Peterson before Harvins injury, but without him it’s become a one man show. There is reason to believe that the Rams have a shot at shutting down AP though, seeing as they have made the likes of CJ Spiller and Frank Gore look awful average in recent weeks and are ranked 13th in rush defense. Shutting down Ponder shouldn’t be much of an issue. He could very well be the most average quarterback in the NFL right now, so the Rams can definitely load the box on Sunday.
This is about as close to a playoff game as either of these teams will get this season. The winning team’s slim but unrealistic playoff hopes will stay alive, the loser’s not so much. Unfortunately for the Rams, I see them being on the losing end of this one. Shutting down Adrian Peterson is borderline impossible, and the Vikings defense are no bunch of slouches. That in combination with the Rams sluggish offense, should have them on the losing end of this one. I’m thinking the Vikings will win this one 21-10.