If you didn't watch the game, the Vikings' loss to the Rams on Sunday may have felt predictable.

It wasn't.

This wasn't a case of a quality team imposing its superiority. The Vikings' 30-23 loss was more a case of an inferior team being given every opportunity to win a game, and refusing.

Losing to the Rams shouldn't be considered an embarrassment. The way the Vikings played, it was.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford threw three unforced interceptions and failed to complete a downfield pass all day. He may be injured, or he may have been honoring his heritage as a Detroit Lion. Either way, he did not throw like a star quarterback, and the Vikings refused to take advantage.

The Rams came into the game missing two starting offensive linemen, including star tackle Andrew Whitworth, and they were playing Sony Michel as their starting back. Michel is a hard runner. The Patriots traded him to the Rams because the Patriots correctly view most running backs as interchangeable.

Sunday, Michel did his Alvin Kamara-against-the-Vikings impersonation. It's not a flattering impersonation if you wear purple.

Perhaps the nadir of a bad 2020 season was the Vikings allowing Kamara to rush for six touchdowns against them last year in New Orleans.

The circumstances were different this year. The Vikings are theoretically a better team, demonstrably a better defensive front, and were playing at home.

Didn't matter. Michel rushed 27 times for 131 yards and a touchdown, dominating the flow of play.

Until late in the third quarter, the Vikings had produced just two scoring drives. One went 7 yards in four plays and resulted in a field goal after Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr received a gift interception from Stafford. The other drive went 2 yards in one play, on an Alexander Mattison run, after Barr received a tipped pass from Stafford.

The Vikings' offense did nothing worth mentioning until the Rams had seized control of the game.

The Vikings' special teams allowed a punt return for a touchdown on a short punt that should have been easy to cover.

The Vikings fell to 7-8 with a game at Lambeau Field looming.

This is a quick reaction postgame column. Come back to startribune.com for more.