coleryan Posts:19274 Followers:23
On 11/04/2013 05:08 PM in NFL

Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings: Preview and Pick

Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings: Preview and Pick

The Washington redskins will head to the road this Thursday night to take on the one win Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings may be the deadliest one win team in the league as they are powered by running back Adrian Peterson. The Redskins still have an outside shot at the playoffs, but they cannot afford to lose a game which includes this game on Thursday.

Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings Odds

The opening NFL point spread for this game favor the road team as the Redskins opened up as (-2) point favorites. After beating the Tennessee Titans on Sunday the public raced to the betting window to back the Redskins. Over 80 percent of the early betting is on the Redskins which forded a line move and the point spread can now be found at (-2.5) at several of the top rated online sportsbooks.

The Vikings have one of the best players in the league. Adrian Peterson gained 93 yards on 11 rushes when facing at least eight in the box Sunday, including a go-ahead touchdown with 5:40 remaining in the 4th quarter. The 8.5 yards per rush against such defenses was Peterson's best this season. They just need better play at quarterback. Christian Ponder's rushing touchdown in the 2nd quarter was his fourth rushing touchdown this season and third touchdown scramble, both of which lead all NFL quarterbacks. Ponder will most likely get the start in this game.

On defense the Vikings will have to slow down a big offense. Pierre Garcon was Washington's most effective weapon on Sunday, catching 7-of-11 targets for a career-high 172 yards and five first downs. If the Vikings cannot stop the Redskins offense it may be another long game for a team looking for their second win.

The latest football betting trends for this game indicate that this could be a very high scoring game. The total has gone over in 4 of Washington's last 6 games when playing on the road against Minnesota and the total has gone over in 5 of Washington's last 7 games on the road. Minnesota is 5-10 straight up in its last 15 games when playing Washington and just 2-4 against the spread (ATS) in its last 6 games when playing at home against Washington. However Minnesota is 8-4 straight up in its last 12 games at home and the Redskins is 2-6-1 straight up in its last 9 games. This game is up for grabs.

Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings Pick

With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-6-0
coleryan Posts:19274 Followers:23
11/05/2013 02:04 PM

Minnesota Vikings Coach Leslie Frazier says he’s beginning to see Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III resemble the player that he was last season as a rookie, much like he saw Vikings running back Adrian Peterson get back into the groove in November last year in his return from a major knee injury.

“You can see he’s really looking more and more like the Robert from a season ago,” Frazier said in a conference call with Washington-area reporters Tuesday, with the Vikings set to host the Redskins on Thursday night in Minneapolis. “So he’s coming into his own. You can definitely see the difference.”

Frazier said that Peterson “really hit his stride” in November last season.

“We just tried to monitor his progress all along the way, you know, month by month, week by week, day-by-day,” Frazier said. “And as the doctors informed us and our medical staff informed us on how he was doing, we’d give him a little more work on the football field based on what we were hearing from the medical staff. And by the time we got to the regular season, we put him on a pitch count. We didn’t treat him like he was in Week 6 of a regular season because we had scaled things back in the preseason. We didn’t just throw him out there and say, ‘Go be the Adrian Peterson that’s 100 percent.’

“So we brought him along slowly and by November, boy, he had really hit his stride. He was the Adrian that we all knew. But we just kind of took it slow early and it worked out well for us.”

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-6-0
coleryan Posts:19274 Followers:23
11/05/2013 02:06 PM

Tight end Kyle Rudolph scored an amazing 31-yard touchdown against Dallas but was injured on the play and didn't return to the game. The injury isn't career- or season-ending but it will sideline Rudolph for a significant amount of time. According to multiple sources, Rudolph has a fractured bone in his foot. Jay Glazer said he received a text from Rudolph telling Glazer that he expects to miss 4-6 weeks.

With Rudolph out, Vikings fans should prepare themselves for a lot more of John Carlson. Hopefully Carlson will be able to embrace his expanded role and catch a few passes more than two yards downfield. Rhett Ellison is still questionable to play on Thursday with an injured ankle which means Chase Ford (best known for assisting Adrian Peterson's touchdown yesterday) could see more work in multiple tight end sets. Carlson played 47 snaps yesterday while Ford played only three.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-6-0
stormy1114 Posts:155 Followers:0
11/05/2013 05:03 PM

Lets first start out with this will be a shootout so take the over, second for fantasy players out there the redskins wide recievers and rg3 will score a ton of points.

  • 11/06/2013 06:13 PM

    Good luck, I agree the over looks nice with these two teams on the field! Thanks for the comment!

    • Last 7 Days Record: 6-6-0
coleryan Posts:19274 Followers:23
11/06/2013 02:47 PM

Here are five story lines to follow in this game.

1. Momentum —
The Redskins finished off the game against the Chargers on a strong note both on offense and defense. The defense denied San Diego on three plays inside the 1-yard line and forced a game-tying field goal rather than winning touchdown. Then, the offense got the ball first in overtime and marched 78 yards in 10 plays to score and win the game. Washington’s players hope to build on those showings on both fronts. They talked about those final minutes possibly serving as a turning point to their season. However, left tackle Trent Williams said, “That took a lot out of us” when discussing the mental and physical fortitude required to pull off such a victory. But he expressed confidence that his team could again summon the same type of effort and attitude as they try to pick up a second straight victory only four days later. Can they? The Vikings may be 1-7, but the Redskins can’t afford to come out flat and have to play from behind, because then they will have to abandon the much-needed balance on offense.

2. Mental preparation —
The Redskins and Vikings didn’t get much practice time in this week. They had to spend Monday healing up from Sunday’s bumps and bruises, and Tuesday they returned to the practice field for a pad-free session. Wednesday’s work basically consisted of a walk-through. Normally, they would have Monday and Tuesday to heal up, and then practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. But the Redskins have been here before. Last season, they beat the Eagles on Sunday in Week 11, and then four days later on Thanksgiving traveled to Dallas and won there as well, which kicked off the turnaround. The key to compensating for a lack of prep time? “It’s a huge mental,” quarterback Robert Griffin III said. It’s paying greater attention to detail in meetings and film study, and carrying out assignments in-game with precision. These Thursday night games tend to be sloppy for both teams with turnovers and penalties plentiful. But the team that can keep those gaffes to a minimum likely will win.

3. Offensive game plan —
Diversity proved the key to success versus San Diego. Kyle Shanahan broke out the read option, the triple option, some three-tight end formations, the unbalanced line, and his jumbo package. Washington kept the Chargers off-balance with all of these elements, but the key was establishing the run game (which is led by Alfred Morris, who boasts an NFL-best 5.2 yards per carry for backs with 100 or more carries). Getting the ground attack going opened the door for more variety in the play-calling, which San Diego struggled to get a feel for. The end result: 200 rushing yards and 298 passing yards, three touchdowns within the red zone and 71 percent success rate on third downs. Washington’s offensive players say similar execution will spur them onto more success and another impressive outing, and another win.

4. Defensive front —
Washington’s front seven must be at their best as they face Adrian Peterson, who ranks fourth in the NFL with 711 rushing yards and is tied for second with seven rushing touchdowns. Top run-stopper Perry Riley Jr. and fellow inside linebacker London Fletcher both need to have big games. Then, if the Redskins can take away the run game, they will force Christian Ponder to throw the ball, and thus far, the third-year quarterback hasn’t encountered much success, managing just three touchdowns while throwing six interceptions and turning the ball over three more times on fumbles. The Vikings will be without their starting right tackle and starting left guard. That could bode well for the Ryan Kerrigan and the team’s other pass rushers.

5. Kickoff returns —
Washington has struggled to get the ball back to the 20-yard line on kickoff returns, and the Vikings have the league’s leading kick return man. Minnesota’s Cordarrelle Patterson averages 36.7 yards per runback and has two touchdowns thus far. Meanwhile, Josh Morgan averages just 19.9 yards per return (69th in the league). Mike Shanahan insisted that the problem isn’t the return man, however. He said many times it’s one missed block that leads to failure on Washington’s returns. The Redskins have to get this ongoing problem resolved. The Redskins orchestrated long scoring drives their last game, but it obviously helps to not have to do that. Meanwhile, the kickoff coverage unit must be at its best. They can’t afford to have any blown assignments, because Patterson only needs a crease. Shanahan said the best way to avoid getting burned by the rookie out of Tennessee is to kick the ball out the back of the end zone. Kai Forbath has nine touchbacks in 25 kickoffs thus far this season. And speaking of Forbath, we’ll see if he can find the solution to the ills that plagued him Sunday when two low field goal attempts got blocked.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-6-0
coleryan Posts:19274 Followers:23
11/07/2013 01:47 PM

The Washington Redskins hope the momentum from a dramatic victory combined with facing one of the league's worst teams will finally propel them to back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

The visiting Redskins are looking for some consistency, particularly from Robert Griffin III, as they try to hand the Minnesota Vikings a fifth straight defeat Thursday night.

After avoiding an 0-4 start with a 24-14 win at Oakland on Sept. 29, Washington (3-5) came out of its bye and lost 31-16 at Dallas. The Redskins rallied to beat Chicago 45-41 on Oct. 20, but they fell 45-21 at Denver the next week.

Such inconsistency has frustrated the Redskins, who won their final seven games last season to record their first division title in 13 years.

Washington hopes Sunday's 30-24 overtime victory over San Diego is the one that keys a run toward the top of the weak NFC East, where it is behind 5-4 Dallas and 4-5 Philadelphia.

"The fans want to have something to believe in, and the players want to have something to believe in," Griffin said. "And because of the way our division is set up right now, we have something to believe in and we know we can control our own destiny."

After San Diego had a touchdown overturned late in the fourth quarter, Washington stopped the Chargers three times from inside the 1-yard line and held them to the tying field goal. The Redskins won on fullback Darrel Young's third touchdown of the day, a 4-yard run that capped a 10-play drive.

"The way we won the game, that can be a turning point for us," Griffin said.

Griffin didn't throw for a touchdown but went 23 of 32 for 291 yards and was a big reason the Redskins finished 12 of 17 on third down.

"The great quarterbacks are the guys that are consistent on third down," said coach Mike Shanahan, whose team is fourth in the NFL converting 44.5 percent on third down. "Anytime you're over 70 percent on third-down conversions your quarterback is playing extremely well.

"And that's what you've got to do. You've got to do that consistently."

Griffin has been anything but consistent of late. In Washington's three wins, he has completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 816 yards with two turnovers while getting sacked twice. In the two October losses, he completed 49.3 percent for 378 yards, committed five turnovers and was sacked six times.

Alfred Morris has been much more steady, leading all running backs this season with 5.2 yards per carry. Fifth in the league with 686 rushing yards, Morris has averaged 97.5 in the last four games while scoring three TDs.

He had season highs of 121 yards and 25 carries Sunday as Washington totaled a season-best 500 yards, including 209 on the ground.

"We've always believed in the running game," Shanahan said.

The Redskins, however, continue to struggle defensively. They have given up at least 410 yards in the past two weeks and rank 30th in total defense (398.8 ypg) while standing 31st in points allowed (31.6 per game).

The good news for Washington is that Minnesota (1-7) has hardly been better, giving up an average of 31.5 points and yet to hold an opponent below 23.

The Vikings led 23-20 late in the fourth quarter Sunday at Dallas and had the ball on the Cowboys' 41-yard line but handed off to Adrian Peterson once on the drive and were forced to punt. As Minnesota used a prevent defense, the Cowboys went on a nine-play, 90-yard drive to reach the end zone with 35 seconds left and hand the Vikings a 27-23 loss.

The result prompted Minnesota defensive linemen Kevin Williams and Brian Robison to question the team's play-calling on both sides late in the game.

"I like for them to talk to their coaches (or) myself about whatever concerns they may have and try to get those worked out," coach Leslie Frazier said. "But I do understand their frustration and I respect their opinions."

Any potential dissension would seem a long-time coming for the Vikings, whose four-game losing streak is their longest since a six-game slide Nov. 14-Dec. 18, 2011.

"The frustration grows with each loss with everyone involved," Frazier said. "We need to put some wins together starting this Thursday night."

Frazier appears set to stick with Christian Ponder after he completed 25 of 37 passes for 236 yards, throwing for one touchdown and running for one. However, he threw his sixth interception in five starts - all losses - and lost the ball on a sack in the end zone that was recovered by Dallas for a touchdown.

Ponder, though, has run for 113 yards and four TDs on 14 carries over his last three games.

Peterson matched a season high with 140 yards on 25 attempts Sunday after totaling 150 on 36 carries in the previous three games. He's been limited to 180 rushing yards in four games against the Redskins.

Griffin ran for a career-high 138 in the last meeting, including 76 on a fourth-quarter touchdown as Washington won 38-26 last Oct. 14. Ponder threw for 352 yards but had three turnovers.

Kyle Rudolph caught one of Ponder's two touchdown passes in that game, but he broke his left foot Sunday and will miss at least a month.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-6-0