Oddsmakers Picking St. Louis Rams To Defeat Minnesota Vikings In Preseason Match Up

August 13th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

The Minnesota Vikings and the St. Louis Rams meet in the 2010 NFL Preseason opener.  Surprisingly, both teams enter this season as of now with several questions, most notably for the Vikings is the future of quarterback Brett Favre.

For many analysts it is simple.  If Favre returns, the Vikings are a Super Bowl favorite.  If Favre retires, the Vikings go back to being a good team, but not one picked by most to compete for a berth in Super Bowl XLV.

On the other side of the ball, the Rams enter a new era under rookie quarterback and No.1 draft pick Sam Bradford, who will likely see significant playing time throughout the course of the 2010 NFL Preseason.

Oddmakers are straying a bit from conventional wisdom in this one, and going on the fact that it is preseason, installing the one-win Rams team from a season ago as a two-point favorite to defeat the Vikings in this one. The over/under for the match up is resting at 31 1/2 points on USA Online Sportsbooks.

Minnesota Offense Vs. St. Louis Defense-

The Vikings without Brett Favre will begin with Tavares Jackson.  Jackson has been getting a bad rap recently with the Favre saga.  In actuality however, the Vikings won 10 games and made the playoffs with Jackson at the helm.  Minnesota has plenty of weapons on the offensive side of the ball to create problems for defenses, like running back Adrian Peterson and wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Defensively, the Rams ranked 29th in the NFL last season and last in the NFC in total defense.  St. Louis will run a 4-3 base defensive scheme, anchored up front by defensive end Chris Long,a first round pick from a couple of years ago.  St. Louis is prone to giving up yardage on the ground, and Minnesota is an excellent running offense, though Peterson likely won’t see much time in this one.

St. Louis Offense Vs. Minnesota Defense-

The Rams usher in Bradford, the top pick in April’s draft, in hopes to kick start one of the worst offense in the NFL.  The Rams have a play maker at running back in Steven Jackson, but he needs help through the passing game as evident in the 2010 St. Louis Rams Team Preview.  Look for the Vikings, and all other defenses that the Rams play this season to crowd the box and force the quarterback to beat them.

On defense, the Vikings are solid, led up front by Jared Allen.  The Vikings are stout against the run, so do not look for Jackson or any other Rams running back to get that much on the ground, unless the Vikings substitute in early.  When its starter on starter, the Vikings will have the upper hand on this side of the equation.

Special Teams-

Harvin is an excellent return man for the Vikings, but it is unclear who head coach Brad Childress will put back to field kicks in this one.  If it’s Harvin, the edge goes to the Vikings.

The Rams will implement rooked receiver out of Cincinnati Mardy Gilyard, who has explosive speed and solid hands.  He will likely get the nod to return both kick offs and potentially split time with Danny Amendola on punt returns.

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