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Redskins Recon 2017: Week 10 vs. Minnesota Vikings

This week's Recon comes on the heels of an improbable and near-miraculous come from behind win in Seattle. The win puts the Burgundy and Gold at a still relevant 4-4 and infuses some much needed energy and promise into the injury-riddled 2017 season. The Redskins can ill afford to spend much time basking in the glow of one of the most memorable wins of the past decade though. Not only are the 6-2 Vikings coming to town on Sunday, but the Redskins must also face the 6-2 NFC South leading Saints in New Orleans, and Dallas in bad guy country before the month of November ends. That makes this Sunday's (and next) home contests against the Vikes and Giants must win games.

This week's Recon was a pleasure to put together. Why? Vikings fans are some of the NFL's smartest. Visit most NFL fan forums, and it's not a matter of finding idiotic and stupidly humorous fan posts, it's trying to figure out which ones are the most idiotic and stupid. Not so with Vikings forums, most of which seem to be populated with smart and experienced fans. Vikings fans seem a lot like our own fans. Hopeful, cautiously optimistic, but with plenty of skepticism and historical pain, earned over a multitude of years of hopes dashed and franchise upheaval. The teams are really quite similar, and this is perhaps evidenced by the historical game records.

Games between the Vikings and the Redskins: 20
All-time record: Tied, 10-10
Total Vikings' points scored, head-to-head: 500 (25 points/game)
Total Redskins' points scored, head-to-head: 451 (22.6 points/game)
Longest Vikings' winning streak vs Redskins: 2, four times (most recently from 7 November
2013 to 2 November 2014)
Longest Redskins' winning streak vs Vikings: 4 (29 November 1984 - 25 October 1992)
Most recent Vikings' road win in series: 24 December 2011 (final score 33-26)
Most recent Redskins' home win in series: 13 November 2016 (final score 26-20)
Biggest Vikings' road win in series: 25 points, 2 November 1980 (final score 39-14)
Biggest Redskins' home win in series: 12 points, 14 October 2012 (final score 38-26)
Current streak: Redskins, 1 win

So how do fans of this week's opponent feel about Sunday's road visit to Fed Ex Field?

As always, there are opposing fans who are supremely confident. Despite their all-star starting QB officially going on injured reserve today, and backup Case Keenum once again starting on Sunday (his 7th straight start in 2017), there were plenty of Vikes fans who expect to win easily on Sunday. What I did not find were a lot of Vikings fans who unequivocally predicted domination or a blowout win.

1angryviking said:
I think we match up very well with their offense. Nothing to worry about for WR's, Reed will get hurt within the first 10 snaps and all we have left to do is stop the run and commit someone to shadowing Thompson. Not 100% on this; but, I don't think Cousins responds well to pressure.

I agree with the other posters regarding the surprising quality of their defense.

NJVikesfan said:
The redskins have multiple starting Olineman out, even if they get Williams back. Their running game is weak and their receivers are young and inexperienced. Our defense should be able to keep them from scoring a lot of points.

taz24 said:
I have seen them a couple times and thought they look mediocre at best.

Thoracle88 said:
The Vikings are a far more talented team and should win this game. If they lose it will be due to poor QB play.

coolbreeze44 said:
Nothing is easy in this league. But if you have to play the Skins in Washington, now is a good time to do it. We're coming off a bye, they had to travel across the country, and they have a ridiculous amount of injuries. We should be favored.

Far easier to find were Vikings fans who were nervous, unsure, or downright convinced their Vikings would find a way to lose on Sunday.

Titon said:
Vikings are the better team but we all know how that's turned out over the years.

This game just doesn't feel right.

We shall see.

tebe_1 said:
Zimmer's record after the bye is honestly the thing that worries me the most about this game; it will be interesting to see if the team comes out lethargic (or over-amped). On paper, even on the road, WAS is a team we should beat…

Nordic said:
Time to put on our big boy britches… 'Skins just beat Seattle on the road...

Going to be a very tough time in DC for us.

swagman said:
I doubt that there is a player on the Vikes who is counting this game as an easy win. Fans that do so will be squirming in their chairs by half time of this one.

Blake Kensington said:
The Redskins are a much better than most of the teams we've played this year...

That solicited the following stats-based reply…

holmanjp said:
O or D????????????

Washington allows 223 passing yards per game
60.89% comp
1.5 passing TD's per game
85.3 passer rating.
110 rushing yards per game
.8 rushing TD's

I'll go out on a limb here
CK will pass for 225 yards, 60% comp, 1 TD, QBR 86, MN will have 125 rushing yards, 1 TD

MN allows 200 passing yards per game
62.7% comp
1.1 passing TD's per game
81.2 passer rating
81.4 rushing yards
.4 Rushing TD's

KC will pass for 205 yards, 64% comp, 1 TD, QBR 83, They will have 86 rushing yards, 1 TD

The game will be determined by turn overs, field position and field goals.

formerlypurplewhizz said:
I hate to say it but this is a game the Vikings normally lose.

The whizz was not alone in his nervousness…

vikaholic said:
Yes. On the road. After the bye. Vs the redskins.

NordicTerror said:
The Redskins should get LT Trent Williams and TE Reed back for our game. It is not going to be easy to stop their offense.

Vpurpleheadedmidget said:
If the Skins just plain don't suck they usually give us fits if my memory serves me so!!!! Ever since we had Anthony Carter and they beat us in the playoffs I have hated them. There are teams that just give us fits...They are one of them it seams ...That is unless some football nerd will dig up the history and prove that I have no idea what I am talking about LOL!

In perusing a number of Vikings forums, I found a surprisingly large volume of well thought out, reasoned posts… A couple of recurring themes include an obvious respect for the Redskins defense and improvements on that side of the ball this year, and for the passing abilities of Kirk Cousins.

BjammnBleedsPurple said:
Their passing D is pretty decent from what I saw against the hawks, but the Hawks D shut them down for most of the game except that one late drive. Plus walsh doinking 3 FGs cost them a lot of field position and momentum. KC is pretty damn accurate and very mobile...their two TEs scare me the most and C.thompson second.

I think our D is on par if not slightly better than the Hawks....I don't think Wash gets to 23 on us. Keenum is gonna have to be on target, cuz this secondary will make u pay, our LBs and safties better be on the TE and #25 and they cant commit TO's and dumb penalties on Offense and I think we win a squeaker...20-13 / 23-17 kinda game.

Now if the Purple start slow and play sloppy football they'll lose this one.....this will be a good test on the road....Bears game kinda vibe with a much better QB in Cousins...D is gonna be tested in the middle with those TEs and Thompson this week...I think our Cbs match up well and so does our DL, but LBs and the safeties worry me this game......SKOL baby lets get this one

vikingsn1fan said:
Outdoor games on the east are never easy this time of year for a dome team.

wxman91 said:
The Skins have completely flipped from last year. Their D is much better than it was. I was shocked to see how poorly Wilson looked against Washington after just dismantling Houston the week before.

However, the Skins O is considerably worse than last year. They let Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon walk figuring that they could replace their production, but Pryor has been a dud and Doctson hasn't emerged (sound familiar?). Their OL is beat up to the point where TJ Clemmings has had significant playing time (again, sound familiar?).

They shouldn't be able to score more than 20. They were only able to sustain 3 drives against Seattle, and our D compares favorably there. We will need to find a way to score, however, and that means punching it into the end zone. So, while STs and turnovers always play a factor in close battles, I'll say that the key to the game is Red Zone efficiency.

NMVike said:
Vikings have only scored 16 first quarter points all season. If the Vikings can start quickly and score a TD early, it could really bode well for us.

I expect Gruden to try lots of short, quick passes early on first and second downs to set Cousins up with 3rd and manageable situations. Cousins has struggled a little on 3rd downs, and the Vikings are obviously very good on 3rd down. Look for Gruden to do everything he can to give Cousins favorable 3rd downs. Therefore the Vikings must improve their first and second down defense. Otherwise look for this to be a slug-fest of a game. Close all the way into the 4th quarter.

Ahhh…but just a moment NMVike. Digging a little deeper, when you look at home vs. away 3rd down stats, the Redskins are converting 40% of their 3rd down opportunities on their home field, while the Vikings have a 37% rate on the road.

NYPurplePeopleEater said:
The Redskins are a good team. They went into Seattle decimated by injuries, 4 back ups on the O-line, TJ at LT and came away with a win. Seattle may not be what they've been but they're still one of the top home teams in the league with a very good defense. Cousins got banged around on almost every snap but came back and made big time throws especially down the stretch. They expect to get a few guys back this week as well. This will be a close game.

BjammnBleedsPurple said:
I think the Purple are a better overall team across the board vs Wash and Seattle...Walsh(lol) cost the Hawks 9 points and loads of field position and aside form the Skins last drive, great throws and catches btw...clutch plays) they didn't do didly on O most of the game. I think the Purple have a better D than Seattle....the DL is a bit better, Lbs are a wash...slanted toward the purple, and the secondary I think Rhodes, Waynes, Newman, and Mack are better than their starting 4, Ive give them an advantage at safety...Smith and Thomas cancel each other out and Id rather have Cam then Sendejo, but hes been growing on me this year.

To the Skins game...pick'm game 50/50 If the Vikes play poorly they will lose, If they play well on O and take advantage of any opportunities provided by the D, which I think there will be a few, I think we win a 23-17 or 20-13 kinda game. I don't think their O can do enough on the defense to break 23 points. The question is will our offense be able to generate over 23 against the Skins D.

what I took away from the bits and pieces of the Skins game against the Hawks I watched was their Pass D is pretty damn good...their Offense isn't too scary at the skill positions, but great QB and mobile and OL is a little suspect. TE scares me a bit and Thompson whos a heck of a wr out of the backfield...I hope its not a sloppy weather game, and I think Zim will have them ready to play after the bye this year...Huge game, this one, and the Rams will be a good barometer of where the Purple really sit in the NFC. Nervous, but really excited for tis game....just hope they don't come out flat....SKOL

MtSnowman said:
By the stats other than record we are very comparable. But in that record for the Redskins they have lost to the Eagles twice, Dallas once and the Chiefs. All three have been rated in the top ten thus far this year. So you can possibly say the Redskins have had a stronger schedule of competition and that is where the stats get interesting to me.

The Redskins are practically the Vikings in points per game and yards per game. The teams gain their offensive yards a little differently with the Redskins gaining 14 more yards thru the air compared to the Vikings gaining about 15 more on the ground. The defense is another story and this is where level of competition may come into play. The three teams mentioned as the Redskins opponents have a top 5 QB and 2 of the teams have a top 5 RB. With such heavy offensive contenders the Redskins have held their own for the most part. But this can explain how the Vikings, by the stats, look like a much better defense. They win in every category. If I am to follow stats alone and since defense travels well, the Vikings could very well walk away with a win.

What I really see is our D and special teams are going to have to play one of their best games this year and no matter the QB, our offense is going to have to play mistake free. This Zimmer team will have to play Zimmer ball while playing on one of the most unforgiving fields we play on all year. A win here could be the defining win for the 2017 Vikings.

Please Norse Gods, a win with no injuries!

Another commonality between Skins and Vikes fan emerges. A belief that supernatural intervention by the Gods may be required to emerge victorious seems prevalent.

As always, no fan forums (save BGO?) are entirely devoid of knuckleheads or wannabe standup comedians. Here are a few for your reading pleasure…

Glibber said:
The Skins have one of the best Special Teams unit- they forced 3 missed field goals last week! :rotflmao:

LeftCoastVikesFan said:
This is a big game for the Vikes organization. The last few/couple of years we've came out of the bye losing. Not good. The team from Washington DC area is/has always been a thorn in the Vikes side. This would be a good one to exercise the demon.

The the racially named team are clearly of playoff caliber, looking to establishment themselves with a big win against a quality opponent. No Viking fan should forget that the team from D.C. has been an NFL establishment favorite for a long time. Theeeesman use to get favoritism calls long before Favre, Brady, Warner, et al... The racist named team is doing good this year and the NFL wants them to succeed. Expect the Vikes to have to be up by two scores with 10 minutes left, otherwise they will get reffed.... big time.

Let's hope it's our Redskins who begin to establishment themselves as a contender on Sunday :) Hey LeftCoastVikesFan – this is your brain. This is your brain on…

madhatcher said:
Case is going to destroy Washington!!! Just saying. I predict 3 TD 1 int and over 300 yards passing. Hell, yes!!! Great job Case!!!

Mad! Mad I tell you! Keenum's not without talent. But his career stats don't support triple exclamation mark predictions (!!!). In 33 games played, Keenum's won 13 of them, completed 59% of his passes, and thrown 23 interceptions. His numbers in 2017 over 6 starts are better. He's completing almost 64% of his passes (to Cousins 68%) and has thrown only 3 picks (to Cousins 4). On total passing yards though, Keenum trails Cousins by more than 600 yards on the season, with Cousins owning a significant advantage in yards per game, yards per catch, and overall QB rating as well.

Apparently, some Vikes fans are not as sold on Case Keenum!!!

holzberg said:
I haven't been paying attention... has Washington's defense been replaced with high school players or something? You did see Case struggle against the defenses that were decimated right? Case did just enough to win the games and was lucky at times to have a good running game and penalties. Otherwise it's mainly been field goals.

It's possible he wins the game, but I don't think it will be a blow out.

So there you have it, a peek behind the curtain in enemy territory, reveals nervously cautious optimism amongst Vikings fans. The wildcard heading into Sunday? In viewing today's Mike Zimmer presser ( after announcing that Sam Bradford has been placed on IR, most questions revolved around Teddy Bridgewater's readiness to step in. If Case Keenum struggles or leaves the game due to injury, how dangerous can Teddy Bridgewater (knee brace and all) be with zero real-game preparation in 2017?

I don't know whether I hope to find out or not :)

Sunday's game mirrors last seasons Week 10 matchup at Fed Ex in which the Redskins shut out the Vikings in the 2nd half, and won going away on the strength of 4 Dustin Hopkins field goals. Can the revitalized and plucky Skins defense do it again on Sunday? We shall see what we shall see.

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As we enjoy today's conversations, let's remember our dear friends 'Docsandy', Sandy Zier-Teitler, and 'Posse Lover', Michael Huffman, who would dearly love to be here with us today! We love and miss you guys ❤

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