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Vikings continue six game win streak with win over Rams

Nov 20, 2017

The Minnesota Vikings are continuously showing the league why they are one of the best teams in the NFL and it’s time they get some recognition for it.

The Vikings haven’t had any help with injuries in their 8-2 start. In the 4th week of the season, rookie running back, Dalvin Cook, went down with a torn ACL and ended his season. Cook had a great start to the year, running for 354 yards, which led the NFL at that point.

Sam Bradford, quarterback, also went down early in the season, after an amazing first game, Bradford missed the next two games due to a knee injury. He then returned for the fifth game of the season but left early in the game. That ended up being his last time touching the field for the season as he was just recently placed on the injured reserve.

This isn’t the first time the Vikings have lost key players to knee injuries. Last year, before the season even started, Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback, suffered a complete tear in his ACL and other structural damage. Within the first two games, star running back, Adrian Peterson, also suffered a torn meniscus.

Both of those injuries really impacted last year’s outcome, however, the Vikings are still finding success even with the absence of Cook and Bradford.

The Vikings started the season with a 2-2 start and have won six straight games, their most recent win coming against the league’s highest scoring team, the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams were averaging 32.9 points, which was most in the league, and 387.1 yards per game. The Vikings were able to hold the Rams to seven points and 270 yards.

No doubt Case Keenum, quarterback, has been playing out of his mind in his eight starts. Keenum has stepped up and propelled his team by having a career year with 2,194 yards and 12 touchdowns through nine games. He has already thrown for more touchdowns this year then he has in any year before and is close in yards.

Keenum definitely can’t take full credit for his amazing year, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, wide receivers, have helped a lot this season. Thielen is currently ranked second in most receiving yards this year with 916 yards and has added three touchdowns. Diggs has added 532 yards of his own along with five touchdowns.

With Cook going down, the Vikings have relied on Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon to lead the backfield. Murray has rushed for 412 yards on 110 carries along with four touchdowns. McKinnon hasn’t helped as much on the ground but his pass catching ability has been his strength, he has 367 yards and three touchdowns on 93 carries and has hauled in 35 catches for 230 yards and one touchdown.

Something that didn’t come as a surprise for the Vikings is their shutdown defense. They rank fifth in points and yards allowed per game. The defense gives up, on average, 17.2 points and 290.5 yards per game.

The Vikings’ secondary has been almost impossible to beat, they allow an average of only 212.8 yards per game through the air. They also have combined for eight interceptions. Harrison Smith, safety, is leading the team with three interceptions

The front four has also been hard to play against, they only allow 77.7 yards per game on the ground, and have combined for 21.5 sacks. Everson Griffen, defensive end, is leading the team with 10 sacks.

In the Vikings six-game win streak, they have won by an average of 11 points per game. This six game win streak has boosted them into first place in the NFC North division and has them tied for the second best record in the NFC with the New Orleans Saints, who they beat. They are also are tied for the second best record in the whole NFL.

The Vikings have three tough matchups back-to-back-to-back against some solid NFC teams. They play three straight road games against the Detroit Lions (6-4), the Atlanta Falcons (5-4), who play tonight, and the Carolina Panthers (7-3). These games will really put the Vikings to some tough tests, and will show how good of a team they really are.

A big question going forward now is, what to do with Bridgewater. Bridgewater was recently activated and was finally able to suit up two weeks ago for the first time since his tragic knee injury. Bridgewater is a solid quarterback, but with how Keenum is playing and where the team is at, you simply can not sit him.

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