1. Goff thrives with clean pocket
According to Pro Football Focus, Rams quarterback Jared Goff had a clean pocket on 24 of his 35 dropbacks. He completed 21 of his 24 throws in those situations, for 380 yards and four touchdowns. With Everson Griffen not expected to be back with the team this week, the Vikings will have to continue to look for ways to make up for the Pro Bowler’s absence, especially against Carson Wentz next Sunday.
2. Running game still struggling to find rhythm
With Dalvin Cook on a pitch count that limited him to 18 plays in his return from a hamstring injury and the Vikings offensive line struggling to move the Rams defensive front, the Vikings were again forced to ditch the run game, with Kirk Cousins attempting 50 passes. Three of Cook’s first seven carries were for negative yardage, with a fourth going for no gain. As effective as the Vikings have been with an aggressive passing game, it’d help them to create some balance to keep pass rushers at bay.
3. Misdirection kept linebackers off balance
The Rams, like the 49ers and the Bills before them, used plenty of misdirection on offense to keep the Vikings linebackers off balance. Goff completed a 3-yard shovel pass to Todd Gurley off the jet sweep action the Bills used on Sunday, and the Rams faked the jet sweep to draw the Vikings linebackers toward the line of scrimmage several times before downfield completions. As the Vikings look to clean things up on defense, they’ll need to reinforce how they handle plays like those.