Vikings: 3 Keys to Beating the Redskins

Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (21) is congratulated by teammate Latavius Murray after scoring on a 2-point conversion during the second half of an NFL football game against Cleveland Browns at Twickenham Stadium in London, Sunday Oct. 29. Photo: AP/Matt Dunham
Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (21) is congratulated by teammate Latavius Murray after scoring on a 2-point conversion during the second half of an NFL football game against Cleveland Browns at Twickenham Stadium in London, Sunday Oct. 29.

November 12, 2017 07:37 AM

KSTP's sports staff gives you a look at the three keys the Vikings need to win Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins.

1. Rest vs. Rust

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The Vikings are coming off their bye, which you'd think would be a good thing. The Vikings, though, are only 1-4 coming off their bye week over the past five seasons. This season. NFL teams are 9-7 coming off byes, so it doesn't seem to be a huge factor.

The Vikings rattled off four straight wins heading into the bye, so they actually might have lost a little momentum. When the Vikings take the field in Washington, it will have been 21 days since they've played a team that's won a game this season (sorry, Cleveland). 

The rest during the bye week did not help all that much in the injury department, either. Starting right tackle Mike Remmers suffered a concussion in the Browns game and he will not play versus the Redskins. Starting left guard Nick Easton does return after missing three games with a calf injury.

2. Contain Chris Thompson in the Passing Game

Washington's run game has been sub-par (3.8 yard per carry, 98.6 yards per game), but they do have a running back who's a major threat in the passing game.

Chris Thompson has 35 catches for 453 yards and three receiving touchdowns this season. If Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr can bottle him up coming out of the backfield, the Vikings will have taken away Kirk Cousins' most reliable target.

3. Look for Big Plays Through the Air

Vikings wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs could be in for a big day. Washington has allowed 30 passes of 20+ yards this season (sixth most in the NFL). The Vikings have hit on 28 passes of 20+ yards, which is 10th in the NFL.

The Redskins pass defense as a whole hasn't been that bad, though. They do have Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman and opposing quarterbacks have an 85.3 rating this season, which is comparable to the Vikings defense (81.2 QB Rating against).

 

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KSTP Sports

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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