When the Vikings played the Rams at the L.A. Coliseum in 2018, plenty of Minnesota fans showed up. An even greater concentration is expected on Sunday, when the Vikings return to Los Angeles to play in the other football venue — a 27,000-seat soccer stadium in which the Chargers will play two more games before moving in with the Rams.
Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press explores the question of whether Vikings fans will overrun Dignity Health Sports Park for the game between the 9-4 Vikings and the 5-8-and-playing-for-nothing Chargers.
Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski said this week that the offense will be ready to shift to the silent count, if needed. It could be that the Chargers need to shift to a silent count.
Stefanski and most Vikings coaches and players have never experienced a game there. One player who has is the most important player on the team: Quarterback Kirk Cousins. In 2017, Washington and Cousins lost there, 30-13.
“We didn’t play very well,” Cousins said, via Tomasson. “And once the game kicks off, the number of people in the stands really made no difference in the game. If you’re not playing well, it’ll feel like a tough environment on the road. . . . If you are playing well, even the most packed away stadiums can feel like a friendly environment.”
Vikings fans will be unfriendly to Cousins if he can’t turn the team’s 9-4 start into a finish that is good enough to vault his team to the playoffs. With the Rams hot on Minnesota’s heels, the Vikings may need to win at L.A. and secure a pair of wins at home against the Packers and Bears in order to avoid, for example, going 11-5 and missing the playoffs altogether.