TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 6: Minnesota Vikings At Washington Redskins

Vikings
Redskins
Tennessee Titans v Minnesota Vikings
Atlanta Falcons v Washington Redskins
Quarterback
Christian 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.
Winner 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.
Offense
Winner The 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.
Defense
Winner The 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 Teams
Winner The 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 Winner Is

Tennessee Titans v Minnesota Vikings
Winner Vikings
3 out of 4

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.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 22:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Super Bowl LI Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots

    The Patriots and Falcons meet in Houston in a battle of the league’s number 1 scoring offense and number 1 scoring defense.

  2. KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

    The Steelers and Patriots meet in Foxboro for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Two MVP candidates at quarterback meet up in Atlanta for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Pittsburgh

New Podcast Network
Get The All New CBS Local App
Get KDKA Text Alerts

Listen Live