Week 6: Minnesota Vikings At Washington Redskins
- QuarterbackChristian Ponder appears to be the real deal for the Minnesota Vikings. While he threw his first two interceptions of the season in the Week Five win over the Tennessee Titans, Ponder has excelled at reading defenses, taking what the defense gives him and making accurate throws.The Redskins are holding their breath because rookie sensation Robert Griffin III had to come out of the Week Five loss to the Falcons after suffering a concussion that the quarterback characterized as mild. While he said he would play against the Vikings, but he will have to pass tests before he gets clearance. Kirk Cousins is a decent backup, but RGIII has to be in the lineup if the Redskins are going to compete.
- OffenseThe Vikings will use the pounding of running back Adrian Peterson to attempt to wear down the Redskins defense. Percy Harvin is one of the best big-play receivers in the league. He has the ability to accelerate any time he wants to blow by defenders and break open a close game. Michael Jenkins is a solid complementary receiver.The Redskins also like to unleash a powerful ground game. Alfred Morris may not have Peterson’s pedigree, but he also punishes tacklers with his interior running. Santana Moss had a 77-yard TD reception against the Falcons while Pierre Garcon knows how to get open and he has dependable hands.
- DefenseThe Vikings are doing a solid job on defense under head coach Leslie Frazier. The Vikings registered 5.0 sacks in the Week Four win over the Lions and they followed that up with two more against Tennessee. Linebacker Chad Greenway had 9 tackles against the Titans.The Redskins came up with an inspired effort against the undefeated Falcons and they did a good job of shutting down Michael Turner and the ground game. London Fletcher had a game to remember with 20 total tackles (8 solo, 12 assists). The secondary is vulnerable and gave up 345 passing yards to Matt Ryan. Redskin linebacker Ryan Kerrigan made a spectacular move in intercepting a Ryan pass and returning it 28 yards for a touchdown.
- Special TeamsThe Vikings are capable of breaking any game open with their return specialists. Harvin is one of the most instinctive returners in the league and Marcus Sherels had a punt return for a score earlier this year. Blair Walsh made 3-of-3 FG attempts in the win over the Titans.The Redskins special teams are in deep trouble. Billy Cundiff has been awful two weeks in a row and the Redskins are holding auditions to find a replacement. Punter Sav Rocca is a decent punter, but he is not spectacular.
The Vikings are playing error-free football and they have star players in Peterson and Harvin who can make a difference. The Vikings defense is much better than it was a year ago. However, the Vikings are still a developing team and if RGIII can go, the Redskins will be tough at home.