This is a quick reaction filed at the end of the game. My actual column will be up tonight on startribune.com and in the Monday paper. My column will be about Adam Thielen.
After beating the Browns in London, the Vikings were 6-2 but hadn't beaten a good team with Case Keenum under center.
Now they've beaten at least one, and maybe two, if you count Washington. Sunday at a very loud U.S. Bank Stadium, the Vikings beat the Los Angeles Rams, 24-7, to reach 8-2.
The Vikings have won tough games at home and on the road, and on two different continents, and with two different starting quarterbacks. A victory on Thursday at Detroit would make a division title almost a formality, meannig that they would have earned at least one home playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium, which the Rams found inhospitable on Sunday.
There were two key plays in my eyes:
1. Backup safety Anthony Harris, starting for the injured Andrew Sendejo, stripped and recovered the ball from Rams receiver Cooper Kupp in the first half to prevent a touchdown.
2. Adam Thielen took a quick pass, dipped to the inside and turned a two-yard pass into a 65-yard touchdown, giving the Vikings their first commanding lead at 21-7 in the fourth quarter.
But there should be plenty of praise to go around. The Vikings beat one of the hottest teams in the NFL with excellent line play on both sides of the ball, solid game plans, good game management from Case Keenum, power running from Latavius Murray and good use of the home-crowd noise when the Rams' offense was on the field.
Through the bye week, the Vikings hadn't beaten a good quarterback. Now they've beaten Kirk Cousins and Jared Goff in consecutive weeks. And in those two weeks they've gone from somewhat lucky to absolutely legitimate when considering teams that could play here in February.
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