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Rams 2024 opponent breakdown: Minnesota Vikings, Week 8

Our offseason opponent breakdown series on continues with us getting caught up on Los Angeles' Week 8 Thursday Night Football home opponent, the Minnesota Vikings (Oct. 24, 5:15 p.m. PT on Amazon Prime Video).

The Rams' 2024 schedule release is presented by Confirmed360.



Despite an 1-4 start, the Vikings managed to correct course with a 5-game win streak. However, just as their 2023 season appeared to be trending in the right direction, wide receiver Justin Jefferson suffered a hamstring injury in Week 5 against the Chiefs that sidelined him for the next six games. Within that span, quarterback Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles in Week 8 against the Packers, ending his season.

Minnesota won its Week 9 matchup against Atlanta and Week 10 matchup against New Orleans, but lost 6 of its last 7 games to finish the season 7-10 overall, clinching the No. 11 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Key changes

Moving up one spot to 10th overall, the Vikings used their first selection in the first round on Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy. They then traded up from 23rd overall to 17th to take Alabama outside linebacker Dallas Turner.

Prior to the draft, Minnesota released Cousins and signed veteran quarterback Sam Darnold. They also signed former Packers running back Aaron Jones to a 1-year deal.

Head coach

O'Connell enters his third season as head coach of the Vikings, compiling a 20-14 regular season record and 0-1 playoff record through his first two years.

What to watch for

Which quarterback will be leading the Vikings' offense

As of right now, the only rookie quarterback known to be starting in Week 1 is the Bears' Caleb Williams, which means it's still to be determined when the rest of that class – which includes McCarthy – will make their debuts.

Will it still be Darnold under center in Week 8, or will McCarthy make his first start that week? Will McCarthy have started a game before then?

From the perspective of the Rams defense, preparing for a veteran running Minnesota's offense will likely be different than preparing for a rookie. It has faced Darnold once before, when he was with the Jets in 2020, but this is a different offensive system, and Los Angeles' defense has had some turnover since then personnel-wise.

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