You didn’t think the Minnesota Vikings were just going to cruise all the way through the season, did you? After winning their first five games of the season, the Vikings suddenly look like a team who are in danger of missing the playoffs. There is way too much time to decide the postseason picture, but just a few weeks ago they look like they were going to walk through the regular season. Not to be, as the Vikes are going to have to fight for it now. The brunt of the Vikings’ problems all fall in the hands of one position, which if you’ve been paying attention it goes without saying.
The offensive line has been an absolute mess, and while Sam Bradford has been a welcome surprise in Minnesota, he is not mobile enough for this line. The offense would be looking much better at the moment if Teddy Bridgewater were healthy. The main reason being, Bridgewater is significantly more mobile than Bradford is. When the pressure is on, Bradford is a sitting duck.
The Redskins are coming off a tie against the Bengals in Europe, and a bye week. It Redskins had their chances to win it, the Bengals did as well. The refs also had their opportunities to make the correct calls. The officiating was pretty anemic, which ultimately led to a sizable Josh Norman fine for criticizing the officials. The NFL has to lighten up here, on more than one stance in the league, but Norman had a right to be upset. I don’t see how the league should be able to take away the passion and emotion from the game, even if it means blasting officials who need to get blasted. Norman can do his talking on the field this week against the Vikings, a Viking team desperately looking to keep their heads above water, before they start to sink.
The Vikings have an excellent defense, Bradford has been playing well after coming in to replace the injured Teddy Bridgewater. However, if the foundation of a house is shaky, it doesn’t matter what everything else looks like. In football, the offensive line is the foundation, and right now the foundation is on unstable ground. It’s going to have to improve, but they can’t rebuild midseason, so they’ll need to find a way to win with defense. Find my pick for the Vikings and Redskins below.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Redskins NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Redskins -2(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Vikings vs. Redskins Pick:
The Vikings and Redskins are in similar positions coming into Week 10. Note that the Vikes are 5-3 and the Redskin are 4-3-1. In other words, both teams are on the teetering point. The Redskins seem to be trending up, while the Vikings are heading towards the basement. Like I said, it’s not like you can try too many different schemes with an offensive line. If it isn’t working, then either just play better or it’s going to take a rebuilding process in the offseason. The Vikings are 24th in sacks allowed, surrendering 21 on the season. No Adrian Peterson is certainly starting to hurt them as well at this point. They seemed to be getting by just fine without earlier, but through the course of an entire schedule, depth becomes an issue.
Minnesota are 31st in the NFL at running the ball, so pass protection and opening up holes to run are a problem, too. They’ve scored just 12 points per game over their last three outings. On the year, the Vikings are 26th in points scored per game, with 19.4 points a game. Without too much creativity in this offense, they really die and live with their offensive line.
Kirk Cousins has passed for 12 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, a very vanilla season for him. He threw for big yardage last week, with 458 yards, but that was through five quarters. Cousins passed for 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last year, so there is some room for improvement this season. He is currently falling behind last year’s production. The Skins have gone up on defense this season, notably thanks to the addition of Josh Norman in the secondary. Washington are 7th in the NFL in sacks. I expect it to be another long day for the Vikings’ offensive line. The Redskins get a big one at home this afternoon.
PICK: REDSKINS -2 (-110)