Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 31, two days before the Washington Redskins travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings.
Five thoughts and observations from Redskins Park
—The Vikings have both the NFC defensive player of the month for October in Everson Griffen (8 sacks for season, 6 of them in October) and the defensive player of last week, rookie linebacker Anthony Barr. The ninth overall pick in the draft leads the team in tackles and picked up a defensive triple play last Sunday with a strip, recovery, and scoop for the touchdown to win the game against the Bucs in overtime. The Redskins will have to beware of the playmakers.
—I said pretty much everything I have to say about the decision to start Robert Griffin III in my post right here. It wouldn’t be surprising if he’s a little bit rusty coming out of the gate but I think he’ll do well enough to keep the Redskins competitive.
—I’m starting to wonder what is going to happen with Leonard Hankerson. Today Gruden said that he’s looking good but they have a decision to make. “If you bring him up, someone has got to go and we’re trying to talk through that right now,” he said. That someone could be either WR Santana Moss or Aldrick Robinson. It also possible that they will keep seven receivers and release someone at another position. Or, maybe Hankerson will either go to injured reserve for the rest of the season or get cut. That doesn’t seem likely but it’s possible. They have until next Wednesday, November 5, to decide.
—Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has taken a whopping 16 sacks in just five games. And it’s not all on him. Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder combined for 12 sacks in five games. Jim Haslett may not need to pull out his cover-zero blitzes or other risky strategies to get pressure on the QB.
—The Redskins’ third down woes are well documented. Their third-down conversion rate is 33.3 percent, 29th in the NFL. In raw numbers they have just 32 first downs on third-down plays, also 29th in the NFL. But they are 12th in the league in first downs gained on any down. That’s because they have 115 first downs on first and second down. Only four other NFL teams have more. The third-down performance could be a statistical anomaly due to a fairly small sample size. In any case, the Redskins need to figure out how to keep their drives alive.
—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:10 a.m.; Jay Gruden news conference and open locker room after practice, approx. 1:30
—Days until: Redskins @ Vikings 2; Bucs @ Redskins 16; Redskins @ 49ers 23
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
- RG3 start vs. Vikings all but a foregone conclusion
- Gruden: RG3 won't have any restrictions Sunday
- Fantasy Fix - Week 9 rankings: Manning or Brady? Brady or Manning?
- Clark, Williams on Redskins' injury report for Thursday
- Gruden: No drop off in expectations for RG3
- Gruden reacts to play of Tom Compton, Trent Murphy
- Starting Griffin this Sunday is the right call
- Where are we? The state of the Redskins, Week 9
- Redskins' Gruden maintains confidence in Alfred Morris