Tha Sports Junkies 101

Washington Redskins Week 10 Preview: Skins set for Homecoming

Minnesota Vikings Henry Michalak


In the NFL sometimes it’s more so about not who you play but when you play them. Washington will be looking to do two things on Sunday, extend the Minnesota Vikings losing streak to four and win a game for the first time in nearly a month.

Despite their tie two weeks ago, Washington is now sixth in the NFC playoff standings. Next up for the Redskins are the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings were one of the more impressive teams early in the season. After a 5-0 start, the Vikings have lost their last three games. Former Redskins head coach, Norv Turner resigned amidst a two game losing streak. Sam Bradford has struggled tremendously and the defense has looked average the past three weeks.

Meanwhile Washington has had its share of internal strife as well. Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams is suspended for the next four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Kirk Cousins has played well at times but red zone woes continue to plague the offense and the defense has been inconsistent throughout the season.

The loss of Trent Williams is disappointing and unfortunate. However, the Redskins have a solid backup in Ty Nsekhe. In training camp, General Manager Scot McCloughan declared Nsekhe could start for at least half of the NFL’s 32 teams. With Williams out for the next four games the Redskins should opt to run the ball more.

Washington is seventh in the NFL in yards per carry but 22nd in attempts. The Redskins are 4-0 when Kirk Cousins throws for 300 yards or less but are 0-3-1 when he throws for over 300 yards. Inside the 10 yard line, Cousins is 6/23 for 32 yards, to go along with four touchdowns and two interceptions. To protect Cousins and the “pass happy” offense, Sean McVay and Jay Gruden must gain more confidence in the running game, especially inside the 10.

On the season, the Vikings are eighth in rush defense allowing 93.1 rushing yards per game. During their past three games, Minnesota however has allowed 118.7 rushing yards. With Robert Kelley now being the lead back, the coaching staff should look to get Kelley at least 20 carries as he’s only had one carry all season result in negative yardage.

Matt Jones has had his moments and lost his starting job in Detroit but the coaching staff shouldn’t lose faith in Jones. He has too much upside to be regulated to the bench. Throw in Chris Thompson as the third-down back, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better trio of runners. Each back averages at least 4.6 ypc.

Defensively, Joe Barry and the Redskins defense have favorable match-ups at their disposal against a Vikings offense that has been in a slump. Minnesota desperately misses Adrian Peterson. Without the future Hall of Famer, the Vikings are on pace to break a NFL record for the lowest rushing average in a season set by the 1953 New York Giants. (2.6 ypc)

The offense for the Minnesota Vikings is last in rushing yards per attempt, total yards, 31st in first downs gained, and 25th in points scored. The Vikings have also struggled on third-down during their three game losing streak converting only 35 percent of those situations. The Redskins are tied for seventh in the NFL with 22 sacks. Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, and Trent Murphy should be able to find success against the Vikings offensive line. During their three-game losing streak, the Vikings are allowing an average of four sacks per game.

Mike Zimmer and the Vikings own one of the better defensive units in the NFL, but the Redskins offense is the best that the Vikings have faced so far this season. The Vikings just don’t have enough firepower on offense to help out their defense. I like the Redskins in this game Washington 27 Minnesota 17.