Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, November 2, 14 days before the Washington Redskins host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedEx Field.
Five final Redskins vs. Vikings thoughts
—The thing I’ll be looking for right off the bat is to see how long it takes for Robert Griffin III to connect with DeSean Jackson deep. In the season opener, Griffin completed eight passes to Jackson but for only 62 yards. Before being sidelined with the ankle injury in the second game Griffin went deep to Jackson but the pass was ruled incomplete on a borderline call by the officials. The sooner the Redskins’ two main offensive weapons connect deep, the better the team’s chances of winning.
—If the Redskins don’t win, injuries will not be an excuse. For the first time this year, all 53 players on the roster are likely to be available. To be sure, Brian Orakpo is lost for the season and Barry Cofield has to be out one more game on the injured reserve/designated for return list. But right now they are among the healthiest teams in the NFL.
—The mental element is always a factor but it’s particularly important for the Redskins in this game. By their own admission, many on this team have viewed close losses against good teams as a notable accomplishment so you have to wonder how they will process an actual win over a 6-1 team. As a group they seemed to be very loose this week. Add in the short week with trips a time zone over on both ends and you have the possibility of a team that will come out flat.
—Although I predicted that the Redskins will lose, the game is basically a coin flip. The ELO ratings on the FiveThirtyEight.com site disagree with that assessment. They have the Vikings favored by 5.5 points and say that Minnesota has a 68 percent chance of winning. I don’t see what the Vikings have done this year to warrant being such a solid favorite over anyone. They have a rookie quarterback and their wins are over the Rams (2-5), Falcons (2-6), and Bucs (1-6). The Redskins aren’t a powerhouse by any means but the Vikings have not beaten a team as good as them all year.
—With Adrian Peterson having played just one game as he focuses on his legal issues, the Vikings have relied on two players to take his place. Early in the season it was veteran Matt Asiata carrying the workload but he’s had six or fewer carries in each of the last three games. Now the main man is rookie Jerik McKinnon, who has 10 or more carries in four of the last five games. McKinnon is not All Day but he is averaging an impressive 5.2 yards per carry.
—Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Vikings, 1:00 p.m., FOX
—Days until: Bucs @ Redskins 14; Redskins @ 49ers 21; Redskins @ Colts 28
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
In case you missed it