Two teams that have streaked to the top of their divisions collide on Sunday, when the Minnesota Vikings host the Los Angeles Rams. Minnesota owns a two-game lead in the NFC North on the strength of a winning stretch that reached five games with last week’s 38-30 triumph over Washington.
Case Keenum, who made nine starts for the Rams last season, will be making his eighth for the Vikings as they aim to produce at least 33 points for the third consecutive contest. Los Angeles already has reached or eclipsed that amount in three straight games and leads the NFL with an average of 32.9. The Rams are coming off their fourth consecutive victory, a 33-7 triumph over Houston in which Jared Goff became the first player in franchise history to throw for 300-plus yards (career-high 355) with three touchdowns and no interceptions in back-to-back games. Los Angeles, which is one game ahead of Seattle in the NFC west, is 4-0 on the road this season but has lost four straight meetings with the Vikings.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Vikings -2.5. O/U: 46
ABOUT THE RAMS (7-2): Todd Gurley leads the league with 1,160 yards from scrimmage and ranks fourth in rushing with 754 but has been held under 70 on the ground in each of his last two games. The 23-year-old also tops the NFL with 10 touchdowns despite being kept out of the end zone last week for just the third time this season. While the Rams’ offense has been superb, the defense has been nearly as good, ranking first in takeaways (19), third in scoring defense (18 points) and fifth in sacks (28).
ABOUT THE VIKINGS (7-2): Keenum has filled in more than admirably for the injured Sam Bradford, throwing for 1,774 yards with 10 TDs and five interceptions in seven starts, and hopes to keep a now-healthy Teddy Bridgewater on the bench with another strong performance on Sunday. Adam Thielen is Keenum’s favorite target as he ranks third in the league with 793 receiving yards, including a season-high 166 on eight catches last week. The 27-year-old has recorded three career games with at least 150 yards, which is the most among all active undrafted players.
1. Goff has thrown 10 touchdown passes without an interception on the road this year.
2. Minnesota DE Everson Griffen (foot), who is tied for third in the NFL with 10 sacks, was limited in practice Thursday after missing last week’s contest.
3. Los Angeles WR Robert Woods is looking to become the fifth player since 1970 to record a TD of at least 50 yards in three straight games.
PREDICTION: Rams 34, Vikings 23