The Minnesota Vikings will attempt to crush the playoff hopes of the Washington Redskins when the two teams square off on Thursday Night Football.
Minnesota limps into this game having lost its last four games and eight of nine to open the season. The most recent loss must feel like a punch to the gut, as the Vikings allowed Tony Romo to lead a 90-yard, touchdown-scoring drive in the final minutes to win the game for the Dallas Cowboys.
Christian Ponder played well in that game, throwing a touchdown pass and running in another score, but he also threw a costly interception. It remains to be seen if he'll retain his tenuous starting spot or if the team will call Josh Freeman back into action.
Since opening the season with four straight losses, Washington has won three of its last five games.
A thrilling overtime victory over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday saved this team from falling to the bottom of the NFC East, and at 3-5 the Redskins are just one game back in the loss column to the Cowboys.
Needless to say, Washington needs to keep winning in order to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Vikings will take great pleasure in playing spoiler at home, but it won't be easy.
When: Thursday, Nov. 7, at 8:25 p.m. ET
Where: Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minn.
Watch: NFL Network
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 50 pts.
- Spread: Minnesota (+2.5)
Redskins Injury Report (via Redskins.com)
Vikings Injury Report (via Vikings.com)
|Guion, Letroy||DT||Chest / Knee||DNP||-||-||-|
Will Adrian Peterson Carry the Vikings to Victory at Home?
The key to Minnesota winning this game is whether or not Adrian Peterson gets going on the ground.
For reasons that defy logic, the Vikings abandoned "All Day" for three games before finally giving him a heavy workload on Sunday against Dallas. He carried the ball no more than 13 times in three consecutive games while Minnesota went through its quarterback crisis.
Thankfully, someone remembered Peterson is the best running back in the league, and he had a monster game against the Cowboys, racking up 177 total yards and a touchdown. Not surprisingly, Minnesota almost won the game.
It should be viewed as a football crime any time Peterson touches the ball fewer than 20 times per game. Not only is he the best running back in the NFL, but he's one of the top five players at any position in the league.
Thursday night games are notoriously ugly affairs. Both teams are still weary from playing four days earlier, and the play on the field is an obvious reflection of this basic fact.
This is the perfect kind of game to unleash the Vikings' battering ram of a running back.
Home teams are usually a safe bet when it comes to Thursday Night Football. The visiting team gets one day less to prepare, which is even more of a detriment on a short week.
However, when it comes to dysfunction, Washington can't compete with Minnesota right now. The Vikings don't have a starting quarterback, and the team's defense has been atrocious for most of the year.
Which team will win?
Meanwhile, Washington is starting to get back to what it was able to do last year.
Featuring the league's No. 5-ranked rushing attack, Washington's offense is beginning to come together. Tight end Jordan Reed has emerged as a go-to threat in the middle for quarterback Robert Griffin III, who appears to be improving every week.
Redskins win 31-21
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