Team: Minnesota Vikings
2018 Record: 8-7-1 (2nd, NFC North)
2019 Record: 5-2 (2nd, NFC North)
Outlook: Coming off of an NFC Championship appearance, the 2018 Vikings seemed poised to make a run at a Super Bowl. After all, they had most of the pieces back from a 13-3 team, and they “upgraded” at quarterback by letting Case Keenum go and investing in a long-term deal for Kirk Cousins.
It didn’t work out that way.
The Vikings had an up-and-down season, finishing at a mediocre 8-7-1, unable to defend their divisional title or even qualify for the playoffs (SOUND FAMILIAR?).
This year, Minnesota has been much better, with a potent running attack, a recently resurgent passing game, and a stout defense led by Danielle Hunter, Harrison Smith, and four-time Pro Bowler Anthony Barr. The Vikings’ offense and defense are each ranked sixth in the league.
Minnesota lost tough match-ups to division rivals Green Bay and Chicago, but the offensive struggles they experienced in those games seem to be a thing of the past, with Cousins now seeming to be on the same page as formerly disgruntled Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen (although Thielen has been ruled out for tonight’s game due to injury), with running back Dalvin Cook also coming into his own as an NFL superstar.
The Vikings have not only won five of seven so far this year, but they’ve looked very strong in those wins, with each coming by at least a 12-point margin.
How Worried Should They Be?: (*Yawn*) Our beloved Redskins had their one-game winning “streak” snapped against the formidable 49ers last weekend, falling 9-0 in a rain-soaked contest that saw Keenum and Washington pass for the team’s lowest yardage total since 1980.
Now, the Skins must turn around and face the Vikings just four days later, with a banged-up Adrian Peterson reportedly nursing a high and low ankle sprain, and little reason to think the offense will be much better this week. Washington must also travel to play the Vikings, although that may not matter much—it will soon be one full year since the Redskins won a home game, a 20-13 triumph over the Giants that sent first-place Washington to a 5-2 record.
That seems so much longer than one year ago.
These 1-6 Redskins are just looking for something, anything, to give them some kind of momentum toward a respectable finish to the 2019 campaign. Hope is hard to come by these days. Just as the Vikings came to believe after 2017, we know that Case Keenum isn’t the answer. However, it’s also apparent that Dwayne Haskins isn’t ready—and why would we want him thrown to the wolves at this point?
Aided by the near-monsoon, the defense stepped up and held San Francisco without a touchdown. They’ll have a hard time repeating that feat against the Vikings.
Ok, they’ll have an impossible time keeping Minnesota out of the end zone. Cook has quietly been the most productive back in the NFL, Cousins and the Vikings passing attack have found their stride after a slow start, and Minnesota finds itself just behind the Packers in the tough NFC North.
The Vikings are not only very likely to win, but they’ll probably win by at least two touchdowns. Even with Thielen out, Diggs should have a big night, and I’ll be surprised (and impressed) if Washington can hold Cook to under 120 scrimmage yards.
The silver lining for the Redskins is that few DC-area sports fans will have much time to lament their misfortunes this week, and the soft whimper of yet another prime-time loss will be drowned out by the ever-growing din of an impending world championship.
What’s the most likely outcome tonight?
This poll is closed
Vikings embarrass Redskins by a big margin
Kirk Cousins turns the ball over on a would-be go-ahead drive late in the fourth quarter, Skins pull out a win
Don’t know / don’t care - I’m too busy getting WORLD SERIOUS