Vikings tied for first place after OT victory over Rams


Blair Walsh connected on a 40-yard field goal, rewarding the Minnesota Vikings with a 21-18 victory over the St. Louis Rams after coach Mike Zimmer took the wind instead of the ball to start overtime. Here's what you need to know:

1. The marquee running back matchup of Todd Gurley versus Adrian Peterson failed to live up to expectations with both defenses stacking the box. The two dynamic power/speed backs did combine for 252 yards from scrimmage on 58 touches, but the longest run of the day went for just 16 yards. Peterson fumbled on back-to-back plays and was a shoestring tackle away from breaking a long run several times. Tavon Austin had more rushing yards than Gurley entering the fourth quarter.

Every game, all season

2. Although the Vikings moved into a first-place tie with the Packers, Teddy Bridgewater's availability for next week's game at Oakland is in question. The second-year quarterback suffered a concussion after taking a vicious hit from cornerback Lamarcus Joyner. Bridgewater had given himself up by sliding on the play. Zimmer was livid about the blow, coming just a few plays after Bridgewater was hit below the knee upon releasing a pass. Prior to the injury, a scattershot Bridgewater missed a few open receivers but staked Minnesota to an 18-15 lead with a 6-yard touchdown scramble and two-point conversion in the third quarter. Veteran clipboard-holder Shaun Hill struggled to move the offense the rest of the way.

3. Vikings nose tackle Linval Joseph should be a shoe-in for the Pro Bowl this season. He was the key in holding Gurley under the century mark for the first time in more than a month, registering three tackles for loss, four more solo tackles and 0.5 sacks. Zimmer recently raved about Joseph as perhaps the best nose tackle he's ever coached. "He's having a Pro Bowl-type season," defensive end Brian Robison said of Joseph. "I am going to lobby for him. If he doesn't (go), it's a travesty."

4. On pace for over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and a dozen touchdowns, Austin has been one of the most valuable receivers in the league this season. Frank Cignetti's Rams offense can be boiled down to Gurley runs, gadget plays to Austin and play-action passes based off misdirection to Gurley and Austin. It was ghost motion from Austin that helped Kenny Britt get free for a 55-yard bomb, setting up Gurley's first-quarter touchdown.

5. Greg Zuerlein booted a wind-aided 61-yard field goal to join Sebastian Janikowski as the only kickers in NFL history with two field goals of 60 yards or longer. "Greg the Leg" also shook off a 48-yard miss to connect on a 53-yard attempt that sent the game to overtime. The Minnesota wind was a big factor on special teams, as evidenced by Zimmer's choice to defer in overtime.