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Key matchups: Shutting down the ends

Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt each will have a tall task in front of them, facing up against Robert Quinn and Chris Long, respectively, on nearly every down. Can the Vikings tackles keep the pressure off Christian Ponder?

As the Vikings look to keep their 2012 playoff hopes alive, they do so against a team – the St. Louis Rams – in a very similar situation. One of two teams (along with Indianapolis) that had a worse record than the Vikings last year, the Rams are 6-6-1 and still in the playoff hunt themselves. Both teams have made marked improvement and, as the Rams attempt to protect their home turf, the...

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