The only thing certain about this week 6 game is that it will be at home for the Redskins, and they will be taking on the 4-1 Vikings. Everything else is a giant question mark.
With the Vikings dishing out surprises left and right, and the Redskins facing injuries at almost every position, no one can really say how this game will play out. Of note is the Redskins 8 game losing streak at home. Hopefully they can come away with the win and give fans something to cheer about after last week’s disappointment.
Coming off a concussion that ended the game for him last week, RGIII seems to be eager to get back in on the action. Thus far all the signs point to him playing as he is apparently not suffering any symptoms. However as we all know, he can be pulled from the game at any time for any reason, as the NFL continues to adopt the “it’s better to be safe than sorry” motto about head injuries. It’s going to be interesting to see how, or if, his confidence has been affected following a fairly unsuccessful game last week. He did participate fully (or at all) in many of the practices this week, so making the changes necessary in order to not repeat his mistake has probably been more difficult. The young rookie is facing a difficult situation, and will likely be more in his head this week. This hopefully will not hamper his ability to get into the rhythm that makes him such a powerful force on offense. There has been a focus this week on his protection, so it will be interesting to see how the team responds and what changes are made.
Trent Williams will face another challenge this week with Jared Allen. He is apparently looking forward to it, after a strong performance last week where he kept John Abraham from recording a sack. Williams seems to be more ambitious and motivated this year, a refreshing change from last season both in attitude and performance.
*Of note- if Griffin scores a rushing touchdown in this game it will bring his total to 5 and he will hold the new record for most rushing touchdowns in a season by a Redskins quarterback. He is tied right now with Theismann and LeBaron.
The Vikings rank 7th overall in the NFL on defense and 6th in rushing defense. This could present challenges for Morris, who hopes to have his third consecutive game running for 100 or more yards.
The status of Pierre Garcon remains unknown, but given his pain level even if he plays he will probably not be 100%. This opens the door for Moss and Hankerson, both of whom have been impressive recently. Moss had a fantastic touchdown last week, showing us all that he is still very much in the game.
Fred Davis has yet to have a 100+ yard game or a touchdown this season. He still has a lot to prove, and today will provide another opportunity for him to do so.
Perhaps no one remembers the last time these two teams met more than Adrian Peterson. It was in the Christmas Eve game at FedEx Field that he suffered a torn ACL/MCL. Now he has come back this season in a big way. And while the defense will certainly have their hands full trying to stop him, their biggest challenge will be the threat Virginia native Percy Harvin poses. How do you prepare for a player who can do anything on offense? That’s been the question so far this season, and a possible reason the Vikings have had so much success. The Redskins secondary has been a weak spot of the team this season, and have not had much success against teams with versatile players on offense.
The Redskins pass-rush has obviously not turned out to be what we had hoped for this year, due in large part to injuries. This has only made Kerrigan a better player. But he cannot be the entire pass-rush and guys like Jenkins and Cofield need to really step it up. Haslett has not been shy about making this point known, both to the players and the media. Hopefully this will provide the motivation they need to really get things going in this department.
Bye Bye Billy! With Billy Cundiff out of the picture (finally) Kai Forbath will get the opportunity to show us what he can do. All he has to do to be an improvement on Cundiff is manage a FG percentage better than 58.3%. Sound doable? Let’s hope so.