Editor’s Note: As some of you know by now, purplePTSD and VikingsTerritory are now part of the same company! As such, we’re going to be posting some articles from one site to the other in the hopes that you’ll include VT to your daily repertoire of Vikings reading (if it isn’t already, of course!). First up is the weekly Odds and Ends piece by Drew Mahowald!
The Minnesota Vikings are 1.5-point favorites for Sunday’s Week 10 matchup on the road against the Washington Redskins, according to MyBookie. The straight-up money line is even.
Minnesota enters this game on a four-game winning streak behind a strong defense and savvy leadership from quarterback Case Keenum. Head coach Mike Zimmer’s defense has allowed fewer than 20 points in all but one game this season (Week 2 loss at Pittsburgh) while the Vikings offense has registered at least 20 points in all but two games this season (Week 2 loss at Pittsburgh and Week 4 loss vs. Detroit).
Washington brings an interesting resume to the table through eight games in 2017. All four of the Redskins’ losses are to teams with winning record (Philadelphia 2x, Kansas City and Dallas). Meanwhile, the Redskins boast a couple of impressive wins on the road — particularly at the 6-2 Los Angeles Rams and at Seattle.
Jay Gruden’s squad has undoubtedly battled through one of the toughest schedules in the NFL this season. And for the time being, that schedule won’t get any easier. Washington gets the Vikings this week and a trip to New Orleans to play the 6-2 Saints next week.
The over/under number for Sunday’s game is 40.5 which draws attention to Minnesota’s 20-point benchmark. The Vikings are 6-0 this season and 13-1 the past two seasons when scoring at least 20 points. Meanwhile, the Vikings are 1-9 when failing to score 20 points and have split two games when scoring exactly 20.
The Redskins lead the all-time series 13-12 (including playoffs), while the all-time regular-season series is split at 10-10. Minnesota’s last matchup with Washington was a 26-20 decision in favor of Washington last season at FedEx Field.
The Vikings surrendered 14 points quickly before scoring all 20 of their points in the second quarter. Kirk Cousins then led the Redskins to 12 unanswered to steal the game.
Kickoff: Noon CDT
Commentators: Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis
Minnesota has been relatively healthy all season long, and that trend will continue on Sunday. The Vikings’ only starter that has been ruled out is starting right tackle Mike Remmers, who suffered a concussion two weeks ago in London against the Browns.
Defensive end Everson Griffen, who has a sack in every game this season, has been bothered by a foot injury but Zimmer said Friday that he expects Griffen to play Sunday.
OUT: T Mike Remmers, OL Jeremiah Sirles
QUESTIONABLE: DE Everson Griffen, DE Stephen Weatherly, S Anthony Harris
Washington’s injury report is a heck of a lot longer than Minnesota’s. It contains the names of 14 players whose statuses are in some doubt for Sunday’s game. The Redskins know for sure they’ll be without two interior defenders in Matt Ioannidis and Arthur Jones.
Several key starters are listed as questionable for Washington. Starting Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams has missed the last few games with a knee injury and is questionable. If he can’t go, a man by the name of T.J Clemmings would likely take his place.
Starting right tackle Morgan Moses, backup tackle Ty Nsekhe and starting guard Brandon Scherff are also listed on the injury report as questionable. Meanwhile, notable pass-catching weapons Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder are also questionable.
OUT: DL Matt Ioannidis, DL Arthur Jones
QUESTIONABLE: T Trent Williams, T Morgan Moses, T Ty Nsekhe, TE Jordan Reed, TE Niles Paul, WR Jamison Crowder, G Brandon Scherff, G Shaun Lauvao, LB Zach Brown, S Montae Nicholson, WR Brian Quick, C Spencer Long
Washington’s impressive resume shows that its performance this season is better than its record. The Redskins’ offense is generally a hit-or-miss unit and that starts with Cousins. Chris Thompson is Washington’s leading rusher and receiver and will likely draw Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr throughout the game. Containing Thompson means containing a heavy chunk of Washington’s offense.
The absence of Remmers for the Vikings offense will certainly have a large impact. Redskins pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan has been one of the most consistent performers in the NFL the past few years, ranking fourth in sacks since 2014.
Minnesota will have to dominate in the trenches on both sides of the ball to win this game. Offensively, Latavius Murray and the ground game will be counted on to set the tone against Washington’s 3-4 defensive scheme. Defensively, containing Thompson will lead to success.
I don’t have a ton of confidence in Rashod Hill keeping Kerrigan in check, and Murray has been wildly inconsistent all season. Give me the Redskins in a close one.
Redskins 23, Vikings 17
Be sure to check out episode 130 of the About the Labor podcast for a full in-depth preview of Sunday’s matchup between the Vikings and Redskins.