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Frisky Vikings defense dominates in rout of Rams

The Minnesota Vikings had little trouble disposing of the St. Louis Rams in a 34-6 rout in Sunday's season opener. Our takeaways:

  1. The Vikings won behind a defense that looks more aggressive than anything we've seen in ages from Minnesota. After toiling for years with the Cover 2, the Vikings on Sunday employed a rash of exotic blitzes to shut down a dead-on-arrival Rams offense. Mike Zimmer's stamp is all over a group that piled up five sacks, eight quarterback hits and a Harrison Smithpick six that put this tilt to bed.
  1. The Shaun Hill experiment was short-lived for the Rams. Leaving the game with a thigh injury at the half, Sam Bradford's understudy was replaced by third-year arm Austin Davis. Neither St. Louis passer looked ready for prime time behind a line that couldn't keep the pocket intact.
  1. Matt Cassel was efficient and we're seeing evidence of a monster campaign from Cordarrelle Patterson. The team's big-bodied wideout was held in check through the air, but torched St. Louis for 102 yards and a touchdown on the ground off three carries. The jet sweep is alive and well in Minnesota.
  1. Zac Stacy got the start at running back for the Rams but Benny Cunningham saw his share of work in uninspiring committee for the Rams. St. Louis can talk about winning with the run, but the team plodded its way to just 72 yards off 22 carries.
  1. Boos rained down inside the Edward Jones Dome as St. Louis displayed so many of the same issues that plagued last year's offense: Milquetoast route concepts and no hint of a difference-maker through the air. Bottom line: It doesn't matter who's under center with Brian Schottenheimer calling the plays.
  1. Rams pass rusher Chris Long never returned after suffering a left ankle injury in the second half.

The latest "Around The NFL Podcast" recaps the season opener and previews every Week 1 game.

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