NFL 2019 (Week 8): Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings

Russell S. Baxter

NFL 2019 (Week 8): Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings

By Jesse Pierson

Special to Pro Football Guru

Any NFL team will experience a fair amount of drama in a given season. The best ways to avoid it are to have a franchise quarterback, to have a successful coach, and to win games. Washington and Minnesota have already had to put out fires in the drama department before even reaching the halfway point of the season. Jay Gruden was fired as Washington’s head coach on October 7 after rotating starting quarterbacks in an attempt to save his job. Clearly, neither Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins, nor Colt McCoy were able to come through for their now ex-coach, and owner Daniel Snyder is no closer to a championship than he was when he bought the team 20 years ago. Compared to the mess in our nation’s capital, Minnesota’s riffraff is pretty mild. After a 2-2 start in which the Vikings’ offense relied heavily on its running game, star receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen expressed their displeasure. Because this is the state of our world in 2019, quarterback Kirk Cousins apologized on his podcast, and things have been gravy ever since. A fourth straight win would leave Minnesota in strong contention for a playoff push, but does Washington have enough in the tank to upset them?

Redskins: As bleak as things have been for this team, at least they aren’t the Dolphins. In fact, their sole win this year came in Miami two weeks ago. Their schedule hardly gets easier in the second half of the year, with trips to Carolina, Green Bay, and Dallas among their five December games. The one silver lining to this point has been rookie receiver Terry McLaurin. McLaurin leads the team in receiving yards, touchdowns scored, explosive plays, and first downs achieved. Keenum sits atop the quarterback depth chart for now, but if Haskins ever takes over as the heir apparent, he will be glad to have his former Ohio State teammate around to throw to. Unfortunately for Keenum and/or Haskins, the top two running backs are not healthy at the moment. Chris Thompson has been ruled out, and Adrian Peterson is listed as questionable.

Vikings: In this three-game winning streak, Cousins has thrown for 976 yards, 10 touchdowns, and only one interception. Diggs and Thielen have combined for 31 catches, 565 yards, and seven touchdowns in that same span. Thielen, however, is out of this game with hamstring injury. The Vikings’ defense has more than held their own in the recent win streak as well. They currently rank sixth in the league in both yards per game (327.9) and points per game (17.6), and Danielle Hunter is tied for fourth with seven sacks. With four remaining primetime games after Thursday (at Dallas, Seattle, and the Los Angeles Chargers followed by a home tilt against Green Bay), Minnesota will have several chances to prove their mettle on a national stage. They are in a great position to push for a championship, provided their rejuvenated aerial attack stays on track for the duration.

Prediction: Washington continues its forgettable season with a forgettable performance against a superior team.

Minnesota Vikings 30, Washington Redskins 9

Jesse Pierson (@jessetpierson) is a former teacher and high school football coach who has written about the Colts for over a decade. He loves football, dogs, food, and comedy, and you can follow his work on his Facebook page, Jesse Pierson, Mediocre Writer.

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