National Football League
Preview
Washington at Minnesota
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, November 2, 2014
Where: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota


The season has not exactly gone according to plan for the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings, but last week offered a glimmer of hope for both squads. With quarterback Robert Griffin III back in the fold, the Redskins visit the Vikings on Sunday as each team attempts to head into its bye week on a winning note. This is the fifth consecutive season in which Washington and Minnesota have squared off, with the Redskins winning three of the previous four matchups.

Griffin has not played since dislocating his left ankle in Week 2, leaving Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy to guide Washington in his place. Cousins threw nine interceptions while Griffin was injured before McCoy got the start last week at Dallas and fueled the team to a stunning 20-17 overtime victory. Minnesota's quarterback play has been up and down as well, but the Vikings received 241 yards and a touchdown pass from rookie Teddy Bridgewater in last Sunday's 19-13 overtime win over Tampa Bay.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Vikings -2.5. O/U: 45.5

ABOUT THE REDSKINS (3-5): McCoy has led Washington to back-to-back victories, giving the team a chance to win three straight games for the first time since ending the 2012 regular season with seven consecutive triumphs. Griffin has torched Minnesota in the past, posting a 108.2 quarterback rating in two previous starts, during which he has thrown four touchdowns and run for a combined 182 yards. According to Redskins coach Jay Gruden, Griffin will start unless "any soreness reoccurs or he isn't comfortable" in practice this week. DeSean Jackson has 100-plus receiving yards in three of his last four games while tight end Jordan Reed has 20 catches - albeit no touchdowns - in three contests since returning from a hamstring injury.

ABOUT THE VIKINGS (3-5): Minnesota's dramatic win last Sunday came courtesy of another rookie - linebacker Anthony Barr, who forced a fumble, scooped it up and ran 27 yards for the decisive touchdown on the first play of overtime. However, the Vikings had plenty else to smile about besides the play of Barr and Bridgewater, including the play of a third rookie, Jerick McKinnon, who has 186 rushing yards in the last two games and leads all first-year players with 392. "I love the way he runs," coach Mike Zimmer said. "He's got some great cut ability. But the thing I like most about him right now is his physicality when he runs." On the other side of the ball, Minnesota continues to get production out of NFC Defensive Player of the Month Everson Griffen, who has at least one sack in four straight games and leads the conference with eight sacks.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The game reunites Gruden, who served as the Bengals' offensive coordinator from 2011-13, with Zimmer, who guided Cincinnati's defense from 2008-13.

2. Only three teams in the NFL have forced three-and-outs at a higher percentage than the Vikings (29 percent).

3. Minnesota WR Cordarrelle Patterson was in a walking boot earlier in the week, but expects to play Sunday. Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph, on the other hand, appears to be at least a week away from returning from a groin injury.

PREDICTION: Vikings 17, Redskins 16
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Washington 3-5 W2 21.4 25.0 2-2 1-3 2-5 1-0 1-0 1-2 1-4
Minnesota 3-5 W1 17.4 21.6 1-2 2-3 1-1 2-4 1-0 0-2 3-3
Last Meeting
Washington Minnesota
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/7/13 WAS 27 MIN 34 433 191 242 307 91 216
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Washington R. Griffin III 64.9 281 3 0
Minnesota C. Ponder 81.0 174 2 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Washington A. Morris 26 139 5.3 0
Minnesota A. Peterson 20 75 3.8 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Washington P. Garcon 7 119 17.0 1
Minnesota J. Carlson 7 98 14.0 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Washington P. Garcon 1
Minnesota A. Peterson 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Washington K. Cousins 61.8 1710 10 9
Minnesota T. Bridgewater 60.0 1053 2 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Washington A. Morris 133 513 3.9 4
Minnesota J. McKinnon 76 392 5.2 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Washington D. Jackson 32 664 20.8 3
Minnesota G. Jennings 29 383 13.2 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Washington A. Morris 4
Minnesota M. Asiata 4