Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/6/13
The Redskins hope RGIII pulls off another spectacular run Thursday night, like this one from 2012 (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais | The Associated Press) The Washington Redskins (3-5) will take on the Minnesota Vikings (1-7) Thursday night at 8:25 p.m. ET (NFL Network), in search of their second win in a row and a chance to climb only 1 game out of first place in the NFC East. Look, guys, by now everyone knows how the Redskins have to play to win. The team must run the ball often, way more often than they look to throw it; Robert Griffin III must be accurate with his mid-range passes and not force too many balls into tight coverage; The defense has to be somewhat competent. Let’s examine each of those points individually. Running v. Minnesota Alfred Morris is a beast and a half, if you haven’t noticed. He, along with RGIII, Roy Helu Jr., Darrell Young, and whoever else the Redskins decide to hand the ball off to tomorrow, need to wear down the Vikings defense. Even if the running game isn’t particularly effective early (and it might not be: Minnesota only allow 104 yards/game on the ground, good for 11th best in the league), it’s important to stick with it. It will both make the Vikings more susceptible to deep play-action passes and tire out their defensive line as the game winds down, giving the RBs a chance to completely gash them in the second half. Of course, the earlier it starts working, the better. I would also like to see the team implement more triple-option plays into this week’s game plan. They ran it three times against San Diego, and all three plays created gigantic holes for the runners to hit. It keeps the defense on their toes and makes them hesitant on normal stretch plays and RB keepers on zone reads. Throwing v. Minnesota There are two big reasons why Minnesota is 1-7: the first I’ll get to in a minute; the second is, appropriately, their secondary. It is not good. At all. Harrison Smith, their talented sophomore S from Notre Dame, is out until at least December 15th with an injury, and the rest of the defensive backfield has failed to pick up the slack. They rank 29th in pass defense, giving up just over 291 yards a game. RGIII should be able to pick this team apart, as long as he has the same accuracy on his throws that he did Sunday, when he completed over 71% of his passes. Pierre Garçon can take any of Minnesota’s corners 1 on 1, and Jordan Reed is a problem for anyone trying to cover him. If Griffin III and Co. have a big day through the skies, they could jump out to a big lead and force the Vikings to throw in order to catch up. Speaking of which . . . Defending the Vikings offense Always seemingly a lightning rod for controversy, DeAngelo Hall has been lockdown for the Redskins in 2013 (Photo: Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports) Remember when I said I’d get to the Vikings’ biggest problem later? Well, it’s time. The Vikings don’t have a capable QB on their roster. Christian Ponder will get the start on Thursday, despite being a huge disappointment since the Vikings took him 12th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. Josh Freeman, Ponder’s backup, was snatched off of waivers from Tampa Bay earlier this season. He disappointed there, as well as in his first start in Minnesota, finishing 20 of 53 for only 190 yards and an interception. He was benched immediately after. Joe Webb is also on the roster, but has failed to produce when given the opportunity, as evidenced by his paltry play in the Vikings’ 24-10 playoff loss to Green Bay last season. And it’s not like these QBs have much to work with, either. Greg Jennings is their biggest outside threat, and he seems to care more about his Hollywood image than playing football these days. Minnesota has no chance to win if they fall behind by more than 10 points or so. Yes, the Vikings do have arguably the best football player in the Universe in Adrian Peterson. But football is the ultimate team sport, and Peterson cannot beat Washington by himself. If Ponder is forced to throw more than 20 or so times, the Redskins’ defensive line will have a field day chasing him down. The D-backs will benefit from this as well, since it will let them play aggressively, something that suits corners DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson just fine. Special teams Last week, K Kai Forbath had two field goals blocked and . . . you know what? I can’t write about this anymore. Washington’s special teams are quite possibly the worst I’ve ever seen, at any level of football. So there. I just hope they don’t cost the Redskins the game. Otherwise, I’m just not going to think about them for a while. I suggest you do the same. Bottom line On paper, this should be a win for Washington. Unfortunately for the Redskins, they still have to actually play the game. Minnesota has kept their losses uncomfortably close lately, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they hang around for a little bit on Thursday. However, if Griffin and Morris are on a roll, I could also see Washington running away with it. It really just depends on how sharp the ‘Skins are early. Also, when these two teams locked horns last season, this happened. That really doesn’t have anything to do with this game, but I could watch it all day. A healthy, top-of-his-game RGIII is a beautiful sight to behold. Redskins fans all across the nation hope he shows up on Thursday. Related articles: Washington Redskins beat Chargers in OT as offense electrifies Shocked Washington Redskins need to wake up vs. Chargers NFL trade rumors: Washington Redskins edition
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
2017 NFL Mock Draft
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Steve Kerr admits using marijuana to treat chronic back pain

WATCH: Huskies, Buffaloes go back-to-back with amazing plays

Rolando McClain suspended indefinitely by NFL

Helfrich, Kelly spoke about possibility of Kelly returning to Oregon

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Paul Maurice: Game plans won’t work trying to stop McDavid

Report: Nats considering Ian Desmond reunion

Eric Dickerson: Rams would be better off without Jeff Fisher

Sheriff: Joe McKnight shooting suspect fired from inside car

Revis insists he has 'a lot' of football left, still loves game

Report: Siemian misses practice Friday, Lynch likely to start

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

Five teams on upset alert in NFL Week 13

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

Eight NFL teams facing must-win games in Week 13

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

Clarification: Why the rules near the crease need to be fixed

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker