Minnesota Vikings (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. Washington Redskins (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS)
NFL Week 6
Date/Time: Sunday, October 14th, 2012/4:25 p.m. EST
Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Md.
TV: FOX/DirecTV 714
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Min ?/Wash ? (No spread as of Sat. afternoon)
Over/Under Total: OFF
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The question of whether or not rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III will play this Sunday has hijacked what could have been a good Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Redskins NFC matchup at FedEx Field and taken it off radar this week.
RGIII was drilled in last week’s, 24-17, loss at home to Atlanta and left the game with a concussion, bloody chin and dazed look on his face. Although he’s been cleared to practice and play on Sunday, it’s still a wait and see game with Griffin until kickoff, but the coaches say he’ll play if he’s okay.
With Griffin III in limbo, the game is off the board as Sportsbooks wait like the rest of us.
Obviously, with Griffin playing the Redskins are a formidable offense ranked 7th in the NFL in yardage (401 ypg) and 8th in scoring (28 ppg). But the million-dollar question is what the Washington staff does to limit his exposure to hits? Less rollouts? More max-protect blocking on passes? No more option game? It could be as easy as telling Griffin III to slide feet-first all the time, but that’s not his game and he’s yet to show he wants to change that part of his skill set.
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Either way, both of these teams have relied on the running game on offense to take the pressure off their young QBs, but the Vikings (78 ypg - 6th) and Redskins (88 ypg - 10th) are two of the best run defenses in the league.
But the Vikings would be better off letting Christian Ponder try and throw them past the Skins this week, especially since the Washington secondary has been one of the worst in the league thus far (329 ypg - 31st). Ponder threw his first two interceptions of the season last week, even though it didn’t matter at home against Tennessee, he’s starting to regress in his last few games (71.2 QB rating vs. Det.; 87.6 last week) and go backward a little.
Minnesota won this matchup last year, a 33-26, victory on Christmas Eve where both teams WERE able to run the ball well (Minn. 241 yds., Wash. 141 yds.). Skins fans will always remember as the one where they knocked Ponder out of the game and some dude named Joe Webb came in and torched them with two touchdowns throwing and one on the ground. The Vikings have actually done very well for themselves in the Nation’s capital, winning all three of their last three visits to Washington both straight up and against the spread (in 2006, 2010 and 2011).
A few more betting trends to know if and when they finally release a point spread and a total for this game. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five head-to-heads, but most of those were by the Vikings in Washington like I previously mentioned. The under is a solid 10-4 in the Vikings last 14 road games, and the under is 10-3 for the Redskins against teams with winning records, so the under may or may not be the only play on this game on Sunday.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: There’s still no spread, but a rookie QB coming off a concussion is enough uncertainty for me to walk away and focus on the rest of Sunday’s NFL card. Pass.
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