The Rams have climbed several mountains this season and answered the bell within the division. They beat Seattle early in the season, they swept the Arizona Cardinals and defeated the 49ers at the Dome just three weeks after tying them in San Francisco; keep in mind that most media pundits, including myself, believed the Niners will be one of the teams in the NFC Championship game.
The next mountain in the chain of challenges is the Minnesota Vikings, led by the NFL’s league leading rusher in Adrian Peterson. When Coach Fisher was asked about stopping AD he replied, “A few years ago we played Minnesota. I feel the same way now as I did then, so I don’t forget that week at all. It’s not easy. What he’s done, specifically just the last five weeks is just off the charts. He’s got a touchdown run in each of the last five weeks of 51 yards or more against good defenses, 200 yards rushing against Seattle – or something like that. You don’t see anybody like him. It’s interesting watching the Bears play him twice in three weeks or something like that and they’re used to him. They know him. They know what they’re going to get and they still can’t manage the run game. So, it’s going to be more than a challenge for us. We had a big challenge with the 49ers, had a big challenge last week. Only had 20 carries against San Francisco and 17 from the backs last week. This one’s going to be a little different. Our key to defending Adrian Peterson is keeping Sam (Bradford) under center. I mean, that’s the only chance you’ve got. You’ve got to keep him on the bench.”
The Rams have a pretty solid running back themselves in SJ39. Steven Jackson is the Rams’ all-time leading rusher with 9,929. He has passed players like Eric Dickerson (1983-87), Marshall Faulk (1999-2005), Lawrence McCutcheon (1972-79) and Dick Bass (1960-69). Jackson needs 71 rushing yards to reach 10,000 yards for his career; he would be the 27th player in NFL history to make it to that illustrious plateau. Jackson also needs 164 yards in the last three contests to again make it to the 1,000 yard mark. He is sixth on the Rams’ all-time receiving list, second all-time leader in yards from the line of scrimmage with 13,139 behind only Isaac Bruce.
Full: LB Mario Haggan (elbow), Limited: Danny Amendola (foot); DNP: CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle), DB Craig Dahl (head), RB Steven Jackson (foot), LB James Laurinaitis , TE Mike McNeill (thigh), OC Scott Wells (knee).
Can the Rams stop Adrian Peterson? No! Can they slow him down? Yes!
Sunday is the final home game of the 2012 season, it is also Fan Appreciation Day. It is the perfect time to come strong, get crazy loud and whatever happens don’t stop cheering, see ya there. I can’t wait for this game on Sunday.