Washington Redskins (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (1-7 SU, 3-5 ATS)
NFL Week 10
Date and Time: Thursday, November 7th, 8:25pm
Where: Mall of America Field at HHH Metrodome
TV: NFL Network
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: WASH -2.5/MIN +2.5
Over/Under Total: 49
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This Thursday night, November 7, in prime time, we get to witness the 3-5 Washington Redskisn take on the 1-7 Minnesota Vikings. Before the beginning of this season, many believed that these two teams could make a little noise in the NFC. Washington was coming off a playoff appearance and had lots of buzz around Robert Griffin III, while Adrian Peterson was the talk of the offseason saying that he wanted to get 2,500 yards rushing on the season to set a new NFL record. Well, as we can see, neither team has lived up to their expectations at this point into the season. Washington has been able to win two of their last three games, while Minnesota is on a four game skid. The line opens with the Redskins being a road favorite at 2.5 points, and the over/under is set at 49. This is a matchup that could go either way so let us take a moment to break down this contest.
Before the 2013-2014 NFL season even began, RG3 and his coach, Mike Shannahan pretty much said this season was a Super Bowl or bust type campaign. Well, that hasnt worked out so well thus far. Washington lost their first three games of the season, and now sit at 3-5 overall. Offensively, the Skins arent that bad. They rank 6th in the NFL in rushing at a little over 145 yards a game, and the passing attack sits in the upper half of the league as well, gaining over 260 yards through the air per contest. Washington may have five losses, but even those losses were hard fought contests. Even in their 45-21 loss to Denver, they had a chance to win the game in the 4th quarter before some big plays caused the game to get away. This Washington team, in my opinion is the best team in the NFL that has a record below .500. These guys can hang with anyone. So, if Washington is so good, why are they 3-5? The answer is simple.defense. The Washington D has not done its job up until this point in the season. They give up over 115 yards a game on the ground, and along with that, they are letting teams pass for almost 300 yards against them per contest. This simply cannot win you football games in the National Football League. The key to this game for Washington is the play some sort of defense. Washington will score points no questions, but they are going to have to stop Minnesota from keeping it close. If Adrian Peterson has a career day, that could be bad for the Skins, but if they hold Minnesota to 20 points or less, I see this being a good road win for Washington to get closer to .500. Remember, Washington plays in the NFC East, which means they are not out of the division race, even at 3-5. There is a lot of football to go.
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Minnesota enters this contest with a 1-7 record, and they sit last place in the NFC North Division, while the rest of the division is tied with a 5-3 record. Minnesota however, is not as bad as one may think. They have played a pretty tough schedule up until this point, and they have also lost some close games. Just this past Sunday, they were beating Dallas until the final seconds of the game. They also have a one point loss to the Bears, and a four point loss to the Browns. They have been somewhat competitive but just cannot hang for the full four quarters needed to get wins. Facing a team of this caliber will not be easy for Minnesota. They are not very good against the pass. Currently, they are ranked 29th in pass defense in the NFL, giving up over 290 yards per game. The run defense isnt terrible, but if they allow RG3 to open up the field and get some passing going, this will not bode well for Minnesota facing the leagues 6th best rushing attack. There are some very important keys to getting this win at home. First off, ball protection. I assume Christian Ponder will get the start this week, in case he tweeks an eyelash, or has a hangnail.who knows. Ponder needs to protect the ball and not turn it over. I also feel the Vikings need to just give Washington a heavy dose of AP. I know Washington is good against the run, but Minnesota has the best player on the field, let him do his thing. It is time for Minnesota to admit they have a quarterback issue, and just let their best player decide the wins and losses. Adrian Peterson needs to get 30+ touches in this game, and every game for that matter.as long as he can physically hold up. Minnesota CAN win this game, but they must not give Washington any easy scores or good field position.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I stated a few moments ago that I felt Washington was the best .500 team in the league. At this point in the season, the Redskins are playing for so much more than Minnesota is. The Skins, being in such a bad division, not only has a shot to make the playoffs, but they have a shot to be a division champ in the playoffs. This type of game is one of those that Washington knows they must take advantage of on the road against a 1-7 opponent There are two things keeping me from loading up on Washington… The fact that 72% of people like the Skins and the fact that Washington’s defense is horrible. I think this will be a very ugly game with a ton of point scored. Both defenses are pretty miserable and easy to pass on. The Vikings showed some heart on the road last week against a decent Dallas team. My heart says to take the Skins here but my brain says no way can a team with a defense as bad as Washington’s lay points on the road. I’m betting the Vikings plus the points.
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