Vikings say short week, game vs. Rams best way to get past this debacle
MINNEAPOLIS — When the NFL's 2018 schedule was released, it hardly looked ideal that the Vikings would play a road game in Los Angeles during a short week.
Now, it might not be all that bad.
After Sunday's stunning 27-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills at U.S. Bank Stadium, several Minnesota players said they're glad the next game is Thursday against the Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
"We play again in four days, so the best way to get this taste out of our mouths is to go play," tight end Kyle Rudolph said. "I'd hate to wait seven days to play again after playing so poorly."
The Vikings trailed 27-0 at halftime while being outgained 245 yards to 46. Throwing on nearly every play in the second half, Minnesota finished with 292 yards, the same number as Buffalo. But the Vikings finished with just 14 yards rushing.
Wide receiver Adam Thielen caught a career-high 14 passes for 105 yards. That tied Cris Carter for the second-most receptions in a Minnesota game, behind Rickey Young's 15 in 1979.
But Thielen was ready to put Sunday's game behind him.
"It's a chance to go back out on the football field and play a game instead of having to sit and have a couple of days to think about it," he said of playing Thursday. "That would be the only positive thing coming out of today: We get to play again in four days."
Quarterback Kirk Cousins and linebacker Eric Kendricks agreed that a quick turnaround isn't all that bad.
The Rams are 3-0 following Sunday's 35-23 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, and will be favored against the Vikings. But Rudolph said the stunning loss to Buffalo could be a wake-up call for the Vikings (1-1-1).
"If we want to get to where we want to be at the end of this, this might be a good thing," Rudolph said. "A kick in the tail every once in a while kind of helps. I'm glad this is in September. The last two years, it happened in December (2016) against the Colts, and it cost us a playoff chance, and last year obviously everyone knows what happened in Philly. So maybe it's a blessing in disguise that it happened in September this year."
The Vikings were walloped 34-6 by Indianapolis at home in December 2016 and finished the season 8-8. They lost 38-7 at Philadelphia in the NFC championship game in January.