The Call: Washington at Vikings

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 6, 2013 - 9:46 PM
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Washington running back Alfred Morris has rushed for 686 yards and five TDs this season, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.

Photo: Alex Brandon • Associated Press,

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24

REDSKINS

21

VIKINGS

One man’s prediction: The Vikings have not won on American soil this season. Their lone victory came in London. Their offense showed more balance against Dallas and the defense did nice things until giving up a 90-yard game-winning drive. But the Vikings’ injury situation is a major issue and Robert Griffin III is starting to get back to normal, so Washington gets the slight edge.

Polar opposites

The Dallas Cowboys ran the ball nine times on Sunday. That’s not a misprint. The Redskins average 29 rushes per game. The Vikings defense will see a dramatically different approach with RGIII and the read option. In their past four games, the Redskins have rushed for an NFL-best 746 yards and nine touchdowns. They’re averaging 5.2 yards per carry in that span. The Vikings struggled to contain Green Bay’s running game two weeks ago and Washington presents another tough test.

New-look line

The Vikings offensive line hasn’t been as physically dominant as it looked last season, but that group at least had continuity. But for the first time in 25 games, the line will have a new look. Right tackle Phil Loadholt suffered a concussion against Dallas and won’t play. He will be replaced by J’Marcus Webb, who gave up a sack-strip in the end zone on his second play in relief against the Cowboys. Left guard Charlie Johnson is doubtful because of an elbow injury.

Depth tested

The Vikings secondary will be without their two starting safeties, Harrison Smith (turf toe) and Jamarca Sanford (groin). Cornerback Chris Cook also won’t play because of a hip injury, leaving the secondary even more depleted. RGIII likes to spread the ball around to his receivers, but Pierre Garcon has become his favorite target. Garcon ranks fourth in the NFL in catches with 54. He has caught at least five passes in every game.

MANO-A-MANO: A MATCHUP TO WATCH

Today: Vikings QB Christian Ponder vs. Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall

About Ponder

He’s making his third consecutive start after being benched. He looked most comfortable when the Vikings ran the no-huddle on Sunday but he still accounted for two turnovers, including a fumble that was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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