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Week 10 Redskins vs. Vikings Preview: A tough chance, but a real opportunity for Washington


Week 10 Redskins vs. Vikings Preview: A tough chance, but a real opportunity for Washington

The Redskins changed their season with an impressive win last week in Seattle, but to make it matter, Jay Gruden's team would be well-served to make it two victories in a row. Minnesota presents a stiff challenge.

The Vikings come in for a Week 10 showdown winners of four straight with a 6-2 overall record.

That's two games better than the Redskins at 4-4, but there are cracks in Minnesota's armor. 

The game starts at 1 p.m., and all the coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington at noon.

Here are three storylines to watch:


1. You Gotta Score: 

Yes, the Vikings have a 6-2 record and won four straight games.

But, Mike Zimmer's team has scored only 17 touchdowns on the year. The Redskins have 20 on the season. Case Keenum, the Vikes backup QB pressed into service when Sam Bradford went down, has played well in six starts.

He's completing about 64 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns to three interceptions. That said, the Vikings don't do anything particularly well offensively.

They rank outside of the Top 10 in points and yards-per-game. 

2. Check The Weight: 

Based on Pro Football Reference statistics, the Redskins have played the toughest schedule in the NFL. By a wide margin.

The Vikings, on the other hand, have played the 12th-toughest schedule in the NFC. On their current four-game win streak, Minnesota has beaten the Browns, Ravens, Packers (when Aaron Rodgers got hurt) and the Bears.

Wins are wins in the NFL, but Washington has only played one bad team this season in San Francisco. 

3. Enough Is Enough: 

It's time to discuss what Minnesota is very good at: Playing defense. The Vikings defense ranks 3rd in the NFL in points allowed and 4th in the NFL in yards allowed.

Everson Griffen already has 10 sacks this season, and cornerback Xavier Rhodes ranks as one of the best in the NFL.

Kirk Cousins will be challenged both when he drops back to pass and when he throws the ball. It should help that it looks like the Redskins offensive line looks to be getting healthier.

Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao practiced this week, and Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams even returned to practice on Friday.


News & Notes:

  • Rob Kelley has scored at least one TD in two straight games. He has never scored in three straight games. 
  • Ryan Kerrigan is expected to start his 105th consecutive regular season game, the longest active streak among active NFL players.
  • The Redskins have won 10 and lost 10 games all-time against the Vikings. 
  • Zach Brown is first in the NFL and the NFC in tackles (86).
  • Kendall Fuller is tied for first in the NFC and tied for third in the NFL in interceptions (3).

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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Various sources

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 18, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—offense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on offense; defense up tomorrow. 

Quarterbacks (2)
Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

I think that Kevin Hogan is very much on the bubble as the third quarterback. They got along with two QBs last year and with Alex Smith having demonstrated great durability during his career Hogan may well get bumped off. 

Running backs (4)
Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley

I’d say that this is 95 percent locked in. Maybe Kapri Bibbs or Byron Marshall can make a push for Kelley’s roster spot but his history with Jay Gruden will make it very hard for him to get knocked out. 

Wide receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn

The first time I did this back in April I didn’t have Quinn on the roster. That was before he was a man among boys a rookie camp and a player who looks like he belongs when the veterans showed up. I don’t know if he’ll have the impact that many fans think he will, but he’s certainly going to get his chance. Brian Quick could steal a roster spot from Harris or Davis.

Tight ends (3)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

The Redskins did not draft a tight end or sign one in free agency so there seems to be faith that Reed will be healthy. We’ve heard that before and it seems somewhat risky to leave Davis, who has Father Time nipping at his heels, and the inexperienced Davis as the only two backups. They may try to make room for an undrafted rookie like Hudson Garrett.  

Offensive line (9)
Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom

I think that Gruden is probably happy with the starters here but the depth is shaky, especially in the interior. The key could be whether Christian is ready for prime time as the swing tackle. That could allow Nsekhe to fill in at guard. Bergstrom is fine as the backup center although I wouldn’t want to have to count on him for more than a few games. 

Offensive players: 24
Rookies (3):
Guice, Christian, Quinn
New to the organization in 2018 (5): Rookies plus Smith, Richardson 
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (11): Rookies plus new plus Harris (practice squad), R. Davis (practice squad) and Bergstrom (not on the team). 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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An Indiana state police officer tweeted that he pulled a driver over for going too slowly in the left lane. I believe this person is a national hero. 


Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 38
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 52
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 75

The Redskins last played a game 167 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 83 days. 

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Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

USA TODAY Sports/@TerrellePryor

Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

Terrelle Pryor made a number of highlight reel catches last year during training camp, and it appears the Redskins defense didn't like it. 

Washington's marquee free agent signing last season, Pryor came into Richmond with sky-high expectations. Throughout the training sessions last August, Pryor put on one-handed displays at the Jugs machine and often made big catches in team drills. It's also important to remember there was never any live tackling during these drills, leaving defenders at a distinct disadvantage. 

Zach Brown remembers the scene quite well, and thinks it will look very different this summer when Pryor comes to Richmond as a member of the New York Jets. 

"That’s going to be something right there. The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now," Brown said on Inside the Locker Room on the Team 980 (full audio here).

Brown explained that Redskins coach Jay Gruden would not allow the defense to hit Pryor last year, even when the wideout did some showboating. 

"Jay ain't here to protect you anymore," Brown said.

The Redskins linebacker explained that he tried to explain to Pryor that the one-handed catches from training camp would not translate in the NFC East, where players get hit hard. It doesn't seem like Pryor listened, as he finished the season with only 240 receiving yards on 20 catches in nine games. 

"The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year," Brown said. He added, "Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets, you’re gonna catch a forearm."

One incident that supports Brown's comments came when Bashaud Breeland got thrown off the practice field last training camp. Breeland got mad that he wasn't allowed to get physical with Pryor at the line of scrimmage, and the scene blew up. Breeland eventually got sent off the field after arguing with coaches. 

The Jets visit the Redskins for three days of practices beginning August 12th. The two teams then square off in the second preseason game on August 16th. 

Brown will get his chance at Pryor, assuming the wideout plays. Pryor finished the 2018 season on the injured reserve, but is expected to be fine once training camp begins in New York. 



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