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Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings: First Quarter Open Thread

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
LOS ANGELES RAMS (7-2) WK 11 MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-2)

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Date: 18 November 2017
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: U.S. Bank Stadium
TV: FOX
KMSP-9
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 82
Sirius Ch 82
TV Announcers: Kevin Burkhardt
Charles Davis
Know Thy Foe: Turf Show Times
Weather: Indoors
Line: Minnesota -2.5, Over/Under 46 (Thanks to the SB Nation odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Vikings 24, Rams 20
Final Score: Vikings 24, Rams 7

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We are back for another Sunday of Minnesota Vikings' football, ladies and gentlemen! Today, the Vikings host what has to be considered the game of the week, as they put their 7-2 record and five-game winning streak on the line to take on another 7-2, division-leading team in the Los Angeles Rams. The winner if this one could have the inside track to a first round bye in the NFC playoffs with six games left in the regular season.

So, what do the Vikings have to do in order to ensure they're that team?

1) Contain Aaron Donald as best you can - The Rams' defense is very good, and there's nobody on that defense that's better than defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Donald might be the best interior defender in the National Football League, and he's going to be a handful on the interior today. Donald is the sort of player that you likely won't shut down completely, but the Vikings are going to have to do what they can to prevent him from being a one-man wrecking crew against their offense.

2) Get Jared Goff on the move - Jared Goff has been a huge part of the Rams' turnaround this season. He's a much better quarterback inside of the pocket than he is when he's on the move, and that means that the Vikings have to bring pressure in order to get him moving around. The Rams' offensive line has been very good this year, thanks to the additions of tackle Andrew Whitworth and center (and former Viking) John Sullivan. The Vikings need to get in Goff's face and move him off the spot in this one.

3) Run the football - While the Rams' defense has been good, as previously mentioned, they're not great against the run, as they give up 4.5 yards/carry and are just 24th in the NFL against the run. That means getting Latavius Murray or Jerick McKinnon. . .or both. . .going early in order to keep the Vikings' defense in manageable down and distance situations. Pat Shurmur has done a great job with his play calling and his offensive game planning so far this season, and the Vikings are going to need more of that today against the Los Angeles defense.

We are less than an hour away from kickoff, ladies and gentlemen. Keep your eyes out for the Open Thread at the start of each quarter, and enjoy today's action.

SKOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL VIKINGS!!!!