Culture of Hoops

NFL SNOUT: Week 1, Rams vs. Vikings

Image courtesy of Erik Drost/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Erik Drost/Flickr.

A famous man (I think it was Dave Chappelle) once said, about making the most with what you have, “they gave us the worst part of pigs and we said, ‘we’re gonna call ’em chitlins, put some hot sauce on [them] and we will like ’em,’ we’ll eat the snout if we have to—if we have to, I will eat the snout.” The NFL has some prime snout, even though they’d like you to believe all their teams are equally skilled. Here at NFL SNOUT, we’ll put as much hot sauce on your delicious morsel of pig nose as needed, by taking a look at the week’s worst matchup.

This week’s matchup is the St. Louis Rams vs. the Minnesota Vikings

The NFL season is now upon us. And while most people will be drinking their favorite brew and chowing down on a hot dog to bring forth a plentiful season of wins and exciting plays, others are already chugging their sorrows away. Unlike your team (who will always win everything, of course), their teams already suck.
Don't worry Giants fans. This isn't about you--yet. width=

Last year, Minnesota had a 5-10-1 record (yes, they tied) and St. Louis won seven games, worst in the NFC West but one win away from breaking .500.

But they have promise! I mean, promise won’t get that W, but it’s hope for the future!

Looking at the Rams season outlook, it’s hard not to grab the nearest bottle and whimper at the thought of the season to come. They unfortunately lost starting quarterback Sam Bradford for the entire season due to an ACL injury. This is especially heartbreaking because this seemed to be the year the Rams would emerge as a winning squad, despite the other NFC West teams being as petrifying as ever.

What’s worse for Bradford is that next year will be a do or die situation for him in St. Louis since 2015 is the last year of his rookie deal—which was the most lucrative rookie deal ever now that the rookie contracts have been restructured under the new collective bargaining agreement. So in order for Bradford to continue to get paid like an elite quarterback, he has to—you know—play like an elite quarterback. Or maybe he just has to get on the field and play without getting hurt.

But the Rams are in a good position aside from the most important position in football. They have one of the youngest defenses in the league. They are showing flashes of brilliance already, especially with defensive end Robert Quinn. Quinn already racked up 19 sacks last season, second only to Robert Mathis who beat Quinn by half a sack.

They acquired a handful of those young players thanks to the trade that sent the 2012 second overall pick that became Robert Griffin III to Washington in exchange for a king’s ransom. It would have been nice for the Rams to have a solid quarterback at this point, but I think that’s a fair trade off. Rams are definitely on the up-and-up, as hard as it seems right now.

What’s more, the NFC West is stacked with talent from top to bottom, but it’s only a matter of time until those teams’ key players give in to old age which will give the young St. Louis squad the opportunity  to take over as the team to beat in the division. San Francisco 49ers Frank Gore, Patrick Willis, and Vernon Davis aren’t getting any younger. And with lots of 49ers looking to get paid in the near future, the downfall of the team might be caused by the 49ers organization letting some key players walk instead of paying them due to the salary cap. Age will catch up to the Arizona Cardinals even sooner. They have a 34-year-old quarterback in Carson Palmer. They also have a 31-year-old Larry Fitzgerald, who is old and still in the prime of his career, but should leave Arizona to a team with Super Bowl aspirations if the Bruce Arians experience flounders. Seattle, unfortunately, will probably still be contending for NFC West champ but they’re historically good right now, especially their defense. They can’t keep that up for long, right Rams fans? Right?

On the other side of the field are the Minnesota Adrian Petersons—er, Vikings. Like the Rams, they’ve had quarterback troubles in the past, rotating between Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, and Josh Freeman. Now they’ve drafted Teddy Bridgewater to join the Minnesotan clusterfuck they call a quarterback carousel. Up until last week, even head coach Mike Zimmer was hesitant to pick a starting quarterback. Cassel is the starter now, but it remains to be seen how long he will actually keep the position knowing that Bridgewater is right behind him on the depth chart. Here’s to handing it off to AP every play while the Vikings figure out who they will stick with in the long run.

Still, it’s not all bad; the Vikings are offensively still multi-faceted. They have Kyle Rudolph in the middle in case their quarterback needs a safety net. Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is entering his second year in the league and is still one of the most promising young talents. He can potentially grow alongside Bridgewater and establish an excellent passing repertoire to complement Peterson’s volatile rushing game.

But this game won’t be as woeful as it sounds. You essentially get the one of the best running backs against a young defensive unit in the making. Last year, the Rams defense allowed only 1646 rushing yards all season, making them the ninth-best rushing defense.  The game as a whole might not be pretty, but look forward to those Vikings rushing attempts and even the play action passes. The Rams defensive ends are ruthless, but can they catch the elusive Orange Peanut?


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