Game 9: Redskins @ Vikings
Thursday night’s matchup will be seen nationally on cable. If you don’t have cable, you are still in luck in the Washington DC market as the game will be broadcast by NBC4. WRC will have a pregame show, beginning at 730 PM. NFL allows broadcasters in the team markets to carry games that are on cable, allowing all to view. If you are disappointed to miss your Thursday night NBC lineup, no worries.
My good friend John Keim grades the Redskins at midseason for ESPN. Are you happy with the Redskins at 3-5 halfway through? Let us know at the DCPro reddit page! In case you believe the Redskins are going to run off a long string of wins like last season… The folks at the gambling site Bovada have updated Washington to a 100-1 shot to reach the Super Bowl this season.
The Redskins and Vikings are meeting for the fourth straight season, after dropping the first two, Washington won in 2012. Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier picked up his first NFL victory in the 2010 Minnesota win. The Metrodome holds a special place in Redskins franchise history, as the site of their Super Bowl XXVI win over the Buffalo Bills.
The Redskins are looking for their first winning streak of the season, albeit a modest two game run. At 3-5, Washington remains very much alive in the NFC East race, trailing Dallas (5-4) and Philadelphia (4-5). The Redskins may continue to rely on Alfred Morris who leads the NFL with a 5.2 yard per carry average. Morris has averaged nearly 100 yards per game (97.5) over the last four contests. The Washington defense remains a work in progress, ranking 30th in yards allowed (399 per game) and next to last in the NFL in points allowed (31.6 per game)
Christian Ponder will start at quarterback over Josh Freeman who struggled mightily in his debut against the New York Giants and hasn’t been seen since. The face of the Vikings, is of course, running back Adrian Peterson. “AP” had an explosive performance in Sunday’s 27-23 loss @ Dallas, with 140 yards rushing on 25 carries. Peterson enters the game as the NFL’s leading rusher, averaging almost 89 yards per game on the ground. While the Redskins defense has been bad, Minnesota hasn’t been much better, giving up 395 yards and 31.5 points per game. The Vikings will also be looking for their first win at home this season (0-4).
MINNESOTA: RB ADRIAN PETERSON, the 2012 AP Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year, is on pace for 1,422 rush yards and 14 touchdowns. He can join LaDainian Tomlinson as the only players in NFL history to rush for at least 900 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of their first seven seasons. Peterson has 12 career touchdown runs of at least 60 yards, including two in 2013, the most in NFL history…Rookie KR CORDARRELLE PATTERSON leads the NFL with a 36.7 KR average, which would be the third-highest single-season mark in NFL history and the second-best by a rookie. Patterson has already returned two kickoffs for a touchdown, including a 109-yarder in Week 8, the longest kick return in NFL history and tied for the longest play all-time. No Viking has ever led the NFL in KR average.
WASHINGTON: QB ROBERT GRIFFIN III, the 2012 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, is the only player in the NFL with a 90+ passer rating (92.7) and at least 1,000 rushing yards (1,072) since the start of 2012. He is on pace for 4,338 passing yards this year, which would be the most in franchise history…RB ALFRED MORRIS, who rushed for a team-record 1,613 yards as a rookie in 2012, is on pace for 1,372 yards and seeks to become the first player in club annals with 3,000 rushing yards over a two-year span…WR PIERRE GARCON has 54 catches and is on target to pass Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Monk’s team record of 106 receptions set in 1984…LB RYAN KERRIGAN is on pace for 13 sacks and would join Dexter Manley, Charles Mann and Ken Harvey as the only Redskins with 13+ sacks in a season.
A short week is always a difficult one, with a light practice on Tuesday, followed by a travel day on Wednesday in advance of the game. Coach Mike Shanahan with the DC media before departure.
Passing: Robert Griffin III – 181-300, 2169 yds, 9 tds
Rushing: Alfred Morris – 133 car, 686 yds, 5 tds
Receiving: Pierre Garcon – 54 rec, 684 yds, 2 tds
Passing: Christian Ponder – 98-158, 1072 yds, 3 tds
Rushing: Adrian Peterson – 153 car, 711 yds, 7 tds
Receiving: Jerome Simpson – 29 rec, 446 yds, 0 tds
OT Phil Loadholt Out concussion
TE Kyle Rudolph Out broken foot
OL Charlie Johnson Doubtful elbow
REDSKINS: Since 2012, QB ROBERT GRIFFIN III is only player in NFL with 90+ rating (92.7) & 1,000+ rush yards (1,072). In last game vs. Min., had 97.2 rating & rushed for career-high 138 yards with 2 TDs…RB ALFRED MORRIS rushed for 121 yards & TD last week. Since Week 12 of 2012, is averaging 102.1 rush yards per game, 2nd best in NFL. Has 13 rush TDs in that span, most in NFL. RB DARREL YOUNG rushed for career-high 3 TDs last week…TE JORDAN REED leads NFL rookies with 38 catches. WR PIERRE GARÇON had 7 catches for 172 yards last week. Has 5+ catches in all 8 games in 2013…CB DE ANGELO HALL has INT in 3 of 5 meetings. LB RYAN KERRIGAN has 8.5 sacks & 4 FFs in past 10. Since entering NFL in 2011, is only player in NFL with 20+ sacks (22.5) & 2+ INT-TDs (2). LB LONDON FLETCHER has played in 248 consecutive games. Had sack in last meeting…VIKINGS: QB CHRISTIAN PONDER has posted 100+ rating in 6 games in career. QB JOSH FREEMAN has posted 100+ rating in 14 games in career & his teams are 11-3 (.786)…Since entering NFL in 2007, RB ADRIAN PETERSON leads NFL with 9,560 rush yards & 83 rush TDs. In past 18, has rushed for 2,309 yards (128.3 per game) & 17 TDs. In past 9 at home, has rushed for 1,150 yards (127.8 per game) & 10 TDs…Since 2007, WR GREG JENNINGS is 1 of 2 active players with 15+ avg. (15.3) & 50+ rec. TDs (52). Rookie WR-KR CORDARRELLE PATTERSON leads NFL with 36.7 KR avg. & 2 KR-TDs…Since entering NFL in 2004, DE JARED ALLEN has NFL-best 121.5 sacks. Has 6 sacks in 4 career meetings & aims for 5th in row vs. Was. with sack. LB ERIN HENDERSON is only player in NFL with 3+ sacks (3) & 2+ INTs (2). Leads club with 73 tackles.
This week’s edition of ESPN Double Coverage has a familiar name joining our own John Keim. Ben Goessling, who was once on the Washington Nationals beat is now covering the Vikings.
The Redskins name change issue has come up this week with both the Mayor of Minneapolis and Governor of Minnesota weighing in on the matter.
Beginning in 2016, the Vikings will be playing in a new billion dollar stadium. This will be the last season at the Metrodome, with the team playing home games at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium in 2014 and 2015.
Follow Tom Blaz on twitter @AubieTom