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Week 11 Game Recap: Los Angeles Rams 7, Minnesota Vikings 24


What you need to know

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams never got going on the road this week as they were in a tough matchup this week against the vaunted Vikings defense. Todd Gurley and the running game had a tough time getting going as they had just 45 yards rushing as a team this week. The passing game was also largely shut down by this Vikings defense as they held Jared Goff to just 225 yards and without a touchdown. Robert Woods continues to emerge as a top-end wide receiver as he had 11 targets in this game, before leaving this game due to a shoulder injury and is expected to miss several weeks.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings started slow in this game as they were tied at 7-7 early in the fourth quarter, but emerged in the fourth quarter by scoring 17 unanswered points led by Case Keenum and Adam Thielen. Thielen continues to breakout each week as he had 123 yards and took a six-yard hitch route for 65 yards for a touchdown. Latavius Murray led this running attack largely setup by two big runs over twenty yards. Murray also scored two touchdowns inside the ten-yard line as he was used as the goal line back in this game.

Los Angeles Rams

QB Jared Goff, 59 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 37 - 225 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 8 - 0
Jared Goff turned into a check-down machine in this game as he was unwilling to throw the ball deep against this tough secondary in Minnesota with Harrison Smith at safety. Goff averaged just 6.1 yards per attempt which is the lowest on the season and only had two passes longer than 20 yards and both went for 23 yards. Goff was not terrible in this game, but the team ultimately needed someone to make a big play and while he completed 62% of his passes he just did not push the ball downfield due to the coverage being very strong.

RB Todd Gurley, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 37 - 1, Rec: 3 - 19 - 0 (4 targets)
Todd Gurley had the worst game of his season this week as he only had 37 yards rushing on 15 carries. The issue for Gurley was different than other poor games. In the past, we have seen Gurley have games where his yards-per-carry is very low due to negative rushes, but in this game, Gurley was unable to get past the linebackers as his longest run of the day was just eight yards.

WR Robert Woods, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 81 - 0 (11 targets)
Robert Woods continues to emerge as the primary receiver on this Rams team as he once again had a terrific game in a tough matchup in which he saw 11 targets. Woods has come to be the most reliable and the primary receiver in this offense over the past few weeks and has shown that he can perform in tough matchups as he did against Patrick Peterson and now Xavier Rhodes. Woods did leave this game with a shoulder injury and is expected to miss several weeks which is a crushing blow to this offense.

WR Cooper Kupp, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 64 - 0 (7 targets)
Cooper Kupp was a fantasy player's nightmare scenario as he fumbled on the one-yard line on a play that he otherwise would have scored a touchdown. Outside of this, Kupp was very efficient catching all but one of his targets including a 23-yard reception on an in route over the middle. Kupp worked out of the slot for most of the day which is where the Vikings have had a little bit of trouble this season defensively.

WR Sammy Watkins, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 36 - 0 (4 targets)
Sammy Watkins continues to have an underwhelming role in this offense as unless he connects on a deep shot down the field, his value is somewhat limited. Unfortunately for Watkins, they did not throw a deep ball down the field to try to connect with him in this game as the Vikings have some of the best safeties in football. With the injury to Woods, expect Watkins to be asked to take on a bigger role in this offense as they will need someone to fill that void.


Minnesota Vikings

QB Case Keenum, 78 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 38 - 280 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 20 - 0
Case Keenum continues to be extremely efficient in this offense as while he is not extremely mobile, he utilizes his mobility to avoid pressure and avoid taking sacks while completing a high percentage of passes. This was exemplified in the first quarter on a play-action play in which Robert Quinn came around the edge and Connor Barwin was coming up the middle, Keenum stepped up to avoid Quinn, ducked under Barwin, and completed the pass just before taking a big hit from Michael Brockers.

RB Jerick McKinnon, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 48 - 0, Rec: 5 - 12 - 0 (7 targets)
McKinnon struggled to get going in this game on the ground as his longest carry on the day was just nine yards. McKinnon was still on the field for 62% of the snaps as his pass catching ability is still extremely valuable to this team. McKinnon caught five passes out of the backfield and most of them were check-downs including two which went for negative seven yards. At times, McKinnon tried to make a big play instead of taking what the defense gave to him and against a quick defense ended up hurting him as the plays went for negative yards as he had four plays on the day that went for negative yardage.

RB Latavius Murray, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 95 - 2, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (2 targets)
Latavius Murray showed a burst that we have not seen much this season. Murray has just four carries greater than 20 yards and two of them came in this game as he had a 34-yard carry on a play that was masterfully blocked by the offensive line and once Murray got into open space he continued to cut inside and out to gain extra yards before being brought down by LaMarcus Joyner. Murray's second carry was a play in while it looked like a simple off-tackle run was actually a masterful play design by offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. The play actually had two holes for Murray to run to one on the left side and one on the right side and Shurmur kept the defense honest by bringing Stefon Diggs as a lead blocker into the other hole. Outside of these two runs, Murray continued to be his usual self as he utilized his power to pick up a few yards each time he touched the ball and did find himself with two goal-line touchdowns in this game.

WR Adam Thielen, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 123 - 1 (9 targets)
Thielen continues to show that he might be the breakout player of the year in the NFL. Once considered just a possession receiver, Thielen once again showed that he is much more than that as he averaged 20 yards per reception for the third straight game. A big part of this was Thielen taking a simple hitch route cutting to the inside to elude the first defender and then outran safety John Johnson who had an angle on Thielen.

WR Stefon Diggs, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 32 - 0 (6 targets)
Diggs had a tough outing this week as he was only on the field for 73% of the game which was the lowest percentage on the season. Diggs was not a primary option in this game as he was fourth on the team in targets in this game and was shadowed by Trumaine Johnson for a large portion of this game which was a tough matchup for Diggs.

TE Kyle Rudolph, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 58 - 0 (7 targets)
If you just look at the stat line, five receptions for 58 yards seems to be about the norm for Rudolph, but he made one of the best catches he has made all season on a seam route in triple coverage as Keenum threw the ball where Rudolph had to jump up and reach over a defensive players head to come down and make the catch all while keeping concentration regarding the oncoming defenders. This play exemplifies why Rudolph is such a valuable piece of this Vikings team as he is a reliable pass catching tight end that if you throw the ball up to him, he is not going to drop it as he does not have a drop on the season.