Greetings my friends, JimmiJo here and I am joined by my partner, Spaceman Spiff. Together we bring you the sights and sounds from today's matchup between the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings.
So what think ye of today's game? For me, this game has letdown written all over it. The Vikings have a reputed front-seven, the sort that stuffs run-games and pressures quarterbacks.
A week ago I would have told you quarterback Kirk Cousins does not do well with pressure. That was before his heroics in Seattle, architecting two magnificent throws to set-up the game-winning touchdown.
But let's pause a moment and pay homage to the defense. If the defense we witnessed against the Seahawks shoe up today - the Redskins will be in this until the end.
Need more offense than we saw last week. And that is the key; a balanced offense that creates scoring opportunities. Hold the ball so the defense can rest.
The offensive line is returned, and that means more goods things.
LANDOVER, Md. – The Washington Redskins have announced the following inactives and lineup changes for today’s game against the Minnesota Vikings:
The Redskins declared the following players as inactive:
o No. 35 S Montae Nicholson
o No. 60 G Arie Kouandjio
o No. 66 OL Tony Bergstrom
o No. 83 WR Brian Quick
o No. 84 TE Niles Paul
o No. 86 TE Jordan Reed
o No. 98 DL Matt Ioannidis
No. 23 DeAngelo Hall is expected to start in place of Nicholson at safety.
No. 85 Vernon Davis is expected to start in place of Reed at tight end.
No. 97 Terrell McClain is expected to start in place of Ioannidis at defensive end.
NO. PLAYER POS HT WT AGE EXP. COLLEGE
13 Maurice Harris WR 6-3 200 25 2 California
63 Brandon Banks DL 6-3 267 23 R Charlotte
The Vikings declared the following players as inactive:
o No. 1 QB Kyle Sloter
o No. 13 WR Stacy Coley
o No. 31 RB Mack Brown
o No. 74 T Mike Remmers
o No. 75 G Jeremiah Sirles
o No. 90 DE Tashawn Bower
o No. 97 DE Everson Griffen
Follow along in-game on Twitter @Skinscast.
Here we go...
Scrapped the whole Halftime writeup because of the dramatic events to end the half. Thanks to the ill-timed interception by Kirk Cousins, the Vikings scored 2-touchdowns in a few minutes and now lead by 11.
Oh yea and they get the ball to start the half.
The Redskins are not built to come back from big deficits.
Consider this. The Washington Redskins scored 30-points today. The most they have scored all year.
So I think we can say it wasn’t the offense that let them down.
Although, when you drill down and consider situation circumstances you have to say it contributed. Actually you have to say Kirk Cousins really contributed.
Late in the first half, with a manageable score of 21-17 Vikings; it all came undone.
Cousins threw an interception to Mackenzie Alexander who returned it to the Redskins’ 23. A few plays later Minnesota went up 28-17. Then to start the second-half they scored again to make it 35-17.
“I had a lot of trash at my feet and couldn’t get set,” he said concerning the pick. “I had trash around my feet all day.” Cousins said as a result of not planting correctly, the ball sailed a foot above the receivers’ hands.
Following the 5-minute disastrous period to end the half and start the next, Washington were able to stop the bleeding. They did so mostly on the back of safety D.J. Swearinger, who managed two interceptions.
The first was on an errant pass by Vikings’ quarterback Case Kennum, whose errant pass sailed into Swearinger’s arms.
The second pick occurred when Swearinger jumped a route on the sideline and returned it to the 2-yard line of Minnesota (nearly fumbling it out of the end zone along the way).
The turnovers lead to 10-unanswered points that put Washington back in business, trailing by a single score and 2-point conversion; 35-27, with 14:47 remaining in the 4th quarter.
But then the Vikings went on a 13-play, 7:15-consuming drive that ended with former Redskins’ Kai Forbath kicking a 53-yard field goal to put Minnesota up 38-27 with just over 7-minutes remaining.
Washington still managed to claw back to a single-score game at 38-30, but in the end an errant on-side kick by Nick Rose sealed the Redskins’ fate (if you want a chuckle listen to me interviewing Rose postgame – I think I managed to annoy him within 30-seconds).
Statistically, this game was very close except for two key areas; 3rd-down efficiency and Red Zone efficiency:
- 3rd-down efficiency – Vikings 8-for-12 for 67-percent and Redskins 5-for-14 for 36-percent
- Red Zone Efficiency – Vikings 5-for-5 for 100-percent / Redskins 2-for-4 for 50-percent
I asked head coach Jay Gruden about how much they work on these and he admitted they do practice these. He also acknowledged how important these are within a game.
But the loss was more than just the stats.
For significant portions of the game the Vikings had their way with the Redskins’ defense. They exploited Washington’s secondary for big pass-plays much of the game.
Minnesota had four plays of 35-yards or more. They racked up over 400-total yards on Washington, with 102 on the ground. What looked like the strength of the team in Seattle turned into the weakness this week as corner Josh Norman and Baushad Breeland were beaten soundly.
And though they were playing a relatively inexperienced quarterback in Case Keenum, he posted 304-yards passing and was never once sacked.
I asked Cousins following the game about how he views the team’s current situation. Though there is a lot of football still to be played, I said, is the fact that other teams in the division are running away from Washington cause a higher sense of desperation for the team?
“I don’t look at things that way,” he explained. “I focus only on the next opponent and always have a high level of urgency. So when you say desperate I would have to say no…”