INGLEWOOD, Calif. — In my pregame post before the Vikings-Ravens game last week, I pointed out that while the Ravens were favorites for a lot of obvious reasons, the Vikings had a path to victory and should be able to score plenty of points.

The Vikings had a chance to win before falling, 34-31, in overtime in Baltimore.

Today, the Vikings face a completely different challenge and have a slightly different path to victory.

The Vikings' defense is likely to be tired after playing 89 snaps in Baltimore and taking two long flights this week. The Vikings' cornerbacks don't match up well with the Chargers' receivers, and Chargers running back Austin Ekeler could have a big day against a depleted Vikings defensive line.

So what's the path to victory?

Running the ball.

If the Vikings win today, Mike Zimmer most likely will be thrilled by the offensive play calling.

The Chargers are terrible against the run. Dalvin Cook could have a big day, and the Vikings will need him to, not only to produce enough points to outscore the Chargers, but to control the ball and the clock.

A shootout will favor the Chargers. If the Vikings can keep the score down and frustrate the Chargers offense by limiting their possessions, the Vikings have a chance.

Both teams have played a lot of close games this year, and the betting line favors the Chargers by three points.

I think the Chargers will wear down the Vikings defense and pull away in the second half.

A big game from Cook could keep that from happening.