Following a 30-7 evisceration of the Tennessee Titans last week, the Minnesota Vikings will look to keep the good times rolling when they head east to play the Washington Redskins in a Week 6 intraconference contest.
For the Vikings, they may be getting Washington at a perfect time. Winners of three straight contests and riding high on momentum, Leslie Frazier's squad has seemingly shocked the world with each victory.
Minnesota will square off against a Redskins squad that is just hoping that quarterback Robert Griffin III can suit up after suffering a scary concussion last week. Even at 2-3, it's become apparent that this Washington team lies outside of playoff contention.
However, the Redskins boast a high-powered enough offense to scare any team. With that in mind, here's a look at everything you need to know about this Week 6 contest.
Where: FedEx Field, Landover, MD
When: Sunday, Oct. 14 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Spread: Redskins -1.5 (Vegas Insider)
Though some sportsbooks are avoiding this line until we have definitive word on Griffin's status, it at least appears like he'll suit up and the 1.5-point spread indicates as much.
The Vikings come into this contest spurred by a fantastic defense and an offense that simply does what it's asked to do and avoids turnovers. Those looking for an easy comparison could call this Minnesota team a very-lite version of the 2011 San Francisco 49ers.
That should pose a huge threat for the Redskins even if Griffin is in the lineup, especially considering the team plans to offer no playbook changes this week (via CSNWashington's Tarik El-Bashir).
Without extra protection, Washington is just asking for Griffin (or Kirk Cousins) to get pummeled in the pocket by Jared Allen and Everson Griffen (if active).
Minnesota is yet to disappoint this season despite abundant skepticism. Feel free riding the hot team this week, especially with such a small spread.
Over/Under: 48 (Covers)
Despite the Redskins coming into Week 6 with one of the most exciting young offenses in football, this may be the easiest under call of the week.
While efficient, the Vikings offense is nowhere near explosive enough to score 30-plus points on a weekly basis—even when it is facing a Redskins defense that may be the worst in the NFL.
What's more, the Minnesota defense has been so good that the team has only been involved with one game where the score went over 48 points (Week 1 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars).
Unless you think that RG3's presence denotes an automatic 20-24 points from the Redskins, you would be best served just to take the under and trust in a relatively low-scoring game.
Vikings Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
WR Percy Harvin, Hamstring, Probable
LB Marvin Mitchell, Calf, Questionable
RB Adrian Peterson, Ankle, Probable
QB Christian Ponder, Knee, Probable
S Mistral Raymond, Ankle, Questionable
S Andrew Sendejo, Ankle, Questionable
WR Jerome Simpson, Lower Back/Foot, Questionable
CB Antoine Winfield, Knee, Questionable
Redskins Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
WR Pierre Garcon, Foot, Questionable
QB Robert Griffin III, Head, Questionable
CB Cedric Griffin, Hamstring, Questionable
S Brandon Meriweather, Knee, Out
RB Evan Royster, Knee, Probable
DE Doug Worthington, Calf, Questionable
Big Fantasy Plays
Vikings: WR Percy Harvin
Still somehow continually underrated, the Minnesota do-everything star is once again quietly in the midst of another fantastic season.
Harvin has caught 38 passes for 407 yards already this season and seems on pace to eviscerate career highs he set in 2011.
Though he's scored just two touchdowns on the season, they both came last week. Look for that trend to continue on Sunday against a Redskins defense that ranks 31st in the NFL against the pass, giving up a whopping 328.6 yards per game.
Christian Ponder is not the type of quarterback who will throw for exorbitant yardage. Nonetheless, Harvin is his favorite target and should be in line to take advantage of some gaping holes in the Washington secondary.
Stat Projections: 7 REC, 90 YDS, 3 CAR, 25 YDS, 2 TD's
Redskins: TE Fred Davis
While the Vikings defense has received well-deserved praise all season, there is one glaring weakness that the Redskins could take huge advantage of on Sunday: tight end coverage.
Over the past three contests, Minnesota has given up an average of 5.7 receptions and 52.3 yards to opposing starting tight ends while allowing scores in two of those contests. Though not debilitating, that is a slight weakness in an otherwise stalwart defensive attack.
Davis is also coming into this game back firmly planted in the Top 10 among tight ends after struggling early in the season.
If there is anyone that breaks out on Sunday for Washington, it'll be Davis. With tight end points so erratic this season, make sure you get the Redskins starter in your lineup.
Key to Vikings Win: Avoid Turnovers
Easily the best thing Minnesota's offense has done this season is avoid turning the ball over.
Ponder has been a revelation thus far with just two interceptions in 2012, a figure that is tied for third behind Griffin and Alex Smith among NFC starting quarterbacks. Considering the second-year signal-caller threw 13 picks in just 291 attempts last season, his ascent has been nothing short of a welcome surprise.
By avoiding coughing the ball up, the Vikings have been able to sustain drives and keep their defense fresh.
That will be of optimum importance against Griffin, a dual threat who could wear down even the best defenses in the league.
If Ponder and the stable of skill position players are able to avoid giving the ball away, Minnesota should come away with a 5-1 record.
Key to Redskins Win: RB Alfred Morris
With Griffin unlikely to be at his full capabilities even if in the lineup on Sunday, it's vital that Morris has a big game to keep the pressure off the Redskins' rookie quarterback.
Thus far, Morris has done nothing but come through in the clutch for Mike Shanahan's squad. As a rookie sixth round pick, very little was expected out of the former Florida Atlantic star and he's exceeded every expectation.
Running in what seems to be an ideal scheme, Morris has gained 491 yards on the ground, which ranks fourth in the NFL.
Unfortunately for Morris, he'll face off against a Minnesota defense that has excelled against the run this season.
That means something has to give on Sunday. If Morris excels, the Redskins have a real shot at pulling off a victory. If not, this may be a worse loss than expected.
Until the Vikings start showing regression, I'm riding this hot streak until further notice.
With Griffin on the mend and facing a tough defense, expect the scintillating young star to struggle more than we're used to seeing.
Final Score Prediction: Vikings 24, Redskins 16
Tyler Conway is a Bleacher Report Breaking News writer who enjoys Twitter followers. So...follow him.
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