The big news this week for the Redskins is that RGIII is cleared to play and play he will says Kyle Shanahan. There are no plans to slow down or to attempt to contain Griffin. He was drafted because of his ability to both pass and run. That is what makes him a dynamic player and it is how the Redskins are going to use him. The only problem is the Redskins aren’t going anywhere and risking the investment that is RGIII by calling so many run plays in his first season might not be the best, but Griffin was injured on a scramble and not a designed run. Quarterbacks that can run are going to run when a play breaks down. Part of this is on RGIII to get out of bounds or slide sooner.
Aside from all the RGIII talk the second biggest news out of Redskins Park is they cut Billy Cundiff and signed Kai Forbath to take over the kicking duties. It can be argued that Cundiff is a big reason the Redskins lost last week to the Falcons and while making a change may not help the Redskins this season they get to look at someone different in game action and could find their kicker of the future.
At 4-1 the Vikings are one of the early surprises of the NFL season. The passing offense leaves a bit to be desired averaging 210.8 yards a game ranking 24th in the NFL, but the rushing offense behind Adrian Peterson is dynamic as ever ranking 10th with 133.2 yards a game. The Redskins have struggled this season against the pass and are still looking for anyone to step up in pass defense. Behind the pass rush of Ryan Kerrigan the Redskins were able to limit Matt Ryan better than they should have been, but when he got time to throw he was able to pick them apart.
The Vikings are a running team and with a rusher like Adrian Peterson that should surprise no one. The Redskins though have their own strong rusher in rookie and sixth round pick Alfred Morris. The Redskins rank 4th in the NFL with 162.6 yards a game out of the backfield. Combine Morris’ ability to stay low to the ground, find the hole, and be a one cut back with RGIII ability to run and it makes the Redskins hard to defend. It is just a matter of time until the Redskins run a fake end-around and Morris or RGIII busts a big run right up the middle. The Redskins have the ability to disguise where the run is coming from and who has the ball.
On defense the 328.6 yards a game allowed by the Redskins is the second most in the NFL behind only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Vikings pass defense is middle of the pack while their rushing defense is in the top ten. This is going to be a tightly contested game that is won by the team that has the best game on the ground. If it comes down to the quarterbacks the Redskins have the advantage in that department, but with their weak secondary any quarterback can look good against them. The Vikings should be able to do just enough to win this game and it is a more even match-up on paper than the records indicate. It was a surprise last week to see the Redskins hang close with the Falcons and they could pull off the upset this week, but they have to play mistake free football in order to do it.