Vikings trample Rams 24-7 in division leader matchup
Published 3:49 pm Sunday, November 19, 2017
MINNEAPOLIS — Latavius Murray rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns, Adam Thielen turned a short catch into a 65-yard score and the Minnesota Vikings smothered the NFL’s highest-scoring offense in a 24-7 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Case Keenum completed 27 of 38 passes for 280 yards and no turnovers against the team that benched him last season for No. 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff. He also guided the Vikings (8-2) to their sixth straight victory in a matchup of division leaders.
Minnesota’s defense started the second half by forcing four punts in a row by the Rams (7-3), whose four-game winning streak in which they scored 144 points was finished in convincing fashion. The Rams led the league entering the weekend with a third-down conversion rate of 46.7 percent, but were just 3 for 11 against the Vikings.
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The Los Angeles defense was trampled in the second half for 288 yards, and Keenum went without a sack for the sixth game this season. Thielen handed him the longest touchdown pass of his career, by turning a simple curl route early in the fourth quarter into a game-breaking score after spinning past Rams cornerback Dominique Hatfield.
Injuries took two of their top three cornerbacks out of the game for the second half.
Thielen finished with 123 yards on six receptions, giving him 916 yards this season. The only player in Vikings history to reach 900 yards receiving by the 10-game mark was Randy Moss, who did it in 2000 and 2003.
Vikings safety Anthony Harris, starting for the injured Andrew Sendejo, single-handedly turned the momentum of the game by stripping the ball from Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp at the 1-yard line and recovering the fumble with 4:03 remaining in the second quarter. The game was tied 7-all at the time.
Goff went 22 for 37 for 225 yards and no turnovers, taking one sack. After the opening possession, Gurley ran the ball 11 more times for a net of 17 yards.
Rams: CB Tayon Webster, who helped limit Vikings WR Stefon Diggs to one catch for 9 yards in the first half, sustained a concussion and didn’t play after halftime. … Nickell Robey-Coleman, the nickel CB, hurt his thigh in the second quarter and did not return.
Vikings: RT Mike Remmers (concussion) sat out for the second straight game and was replaced by Rashod Hill, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a leg injury. … DE Brian Robison (back) was inactive for the first time since Dec. 23, 2012, a streak of 76 straight games including playoffs. … CB Xavier Rhodes departed briefly for a calf injury in the second quarter.
Rams: Host New Orleans next Sunday, their second consecutive matchup with an NFC division leader.
Vikings: Visit Detroit this Thursday, their second straight Thanksgiving Day game against the Lions, who have won five of the last seven games in the series including a 14-7 victory at Minnesota on Oct. 1.