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Week 8 Game Recap: Washington Redskins 9, Minnesota Vikings 19


What you need to know

Washington Redskins

Everything for Washington is now about the development of their first-round quarterback.† The coaching staff needs stability and the proper resources to aid his maturation.† He doesn't look ready at all and it's not clear who is at fault.† As currently constructed, the team isn't built to win and need to deal as many valuable assets as possible.† The organization is in disarray from top to bottom so building for the future should be their primary concern.† † ††

Minnesota Vikings

This game had all of the story lines that could make for a let down and the first half trended that way as each team traded field goals and were unable to finish drives. The Vikings welcomed Case Keenum and Adrian Peterson back to town and Kirk Cousins took on his old team in a prime-time matchup. The Vikings seemed to escape with a 19-9 win and moved to 6-2 on the season. Minnesota rushed for more than 160 yards and Stefon Diggs had his 3rd straight game with 125+ receiving yards. The defense struggled early and let Keenum move the ball down the field at will until he was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Dwayne Haskins took over with Colt McCoy inactive this week and almost immediately threw an interception. The Vikings made some mistakes this week but were able to come away with their 4th straight victory. Minnesota will travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs next Sunday.

Washington Redskins

QB Case Keenum, 29 offensive snaps, Pass: 12 - 16 - 130 - 0 TD / 0 INT
Case Keenum had a good start to this game until the untimely turnover.† He led the offense to three first downs and completed his first three passes before giving the ball back to Minnesota.† Case had the Redskins in scoring position twice but only came away with field goals.† Play-action passing, and the run game worked surprisingly well against the Vikings defense.† However, Case only came away with two field goals and exited the game at halftime due to concussion.† Its unfortunate Case went down because this was the best the offense had looked in weeks.

QB Dwayne Haskins, 14 offensive snaps, Pass: 3 - 5 - 33 - 0 TD / 1 INT
Dwayne Haskins came in the game to replace Case Keenum and looked completely unprepared.† He attempted five passes and completed three, but they were all fairly safe throws.† The offense only generated three points in the second half with him leading the offense.† Most drives were stalled as Dwayne looked indecisive in the pocket.† Too many 3-and-outs and negative plays left the offense completely unplugged in the second half.† Dwayne had an awful interception throwing high to a wide open received over the middle of the field.† He will need to clean up his decision making and play with more command if he gets the start next week.††

RB Adrian Peterson, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 76 - 0, Rec: 2 - 27 - 0 (2 targets)
Adrian Peterson was the lone bright spot for Washington on offense.† He had fourteen carries and averaged over five yards per carry.† He constantly gained chunk yardage, but his production dissolved along with the offense in the second half.† It's clear that the ability is still there for Adrian, but the offense is simply too inconsistent for him to make a bigger impact.† He made violent jump cuts all night to elude tackles and keep plays alive.† Washington had one possession in the redzone and did not call Adrian's number.† That may have been the only downside for Adrian in this game.

RB Wendell Smallwood, 12 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 9 - 0, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (2 targets)
Wendell Smallwood had a total of three touches in this game.† Other than a first down catch, he did not contribute in this game.

WR Terry McLaurin, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 39 - 0 (6 targets)
Terry McLaurin was on his way to a productive night but once Case Keenum went down his involvement was minimal.† Terry record three receptions in the first half and showed great route running to gain separation in coverage.† His speed has started to put defensive backs on their heels.† Terry was targeted twice in the second half and was missed badly over the middle on a potential reception.† Playing with the backup quarterback in the second half diminished any opportunity for a big game.† †

WR Paul Richardson, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (4 targets)
Paul Richardson was more involved in this game than he has been in the last few weeks.† He caught the first pass of the game to gain a first down but was only targeted three more times.† He tallied three catches on four targets.† The entire passing game was downgraded once Case went down.† Paul was able to easily get open on his receptions, but the offense was shut down in the second half.

WR Kelvin Harmon, 11 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets)
Kelvin Harmon managed one first down catch but was otherwise ineffective against Minnesota.

WR Trey Quinn, 24 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 15 - 0 (3 targets)
Trey Quinn recorded one catch on three targets.† With a limited passing game, he was not able to get involved.† †

TE Jeremy Sprinkle, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (2 targets)
Jeremy Sprinkle once again filled in for Vernon Davis.† He only had two catches for twelve yards as a 4th option at best in a limited passing game.


Minnesota Vikings

QB Kirk Cousins, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 26 - 285 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 2 - 0
The stat line seems a little misleading when you look at the final score. Cousins set a Viking franchise record in completion percentage this week and threw for nearly 300 yards again, but he did not have a single passing touchdown and the Vikings only punched it into the end zone once. Cousins was very efficient this week and completed passes to 7 different players on a roster that has been hurting in the receiver department. The re-connection with Diggs continued this week with another 100-yard game. The duo connected on long plays of 33 and 39 yards where Diggs turned a deep crossing route up the field for big gains. The Vikings would have had a great opportunity for points on the first drive had it not been for a fumble by Diggs. Cousins dealt with pressure from the Washington line and was sacked 3 times for a loss of 12 yards, but what he did well was throw the ball away when he was in trouble and not trying to force anything. 2 of his 3 incompletions were on passes that he threw away to not take a sack. Cousins has turned the corner since the start of the season but will still need to prove that he can win the big game. The Chiefs will be a big test coming up next.

RB Dalvin Cook, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 23 - 98 - 1, Rec: 5 - 73 - 0 (6 targets)
Cook fell just short of his 6th 100-yard rushing performance of the season, but he more than made up with it in total yardage. The Viking offense had no trouble moving the ball in between the 30ís this week but had trouble punching it into the end zone. Cook scored the lone Viking touchdown this week on a 4-yard power run just before half time where he took the ball off guard and extended the ball into the end zone. The goal to go situation was setup by a 31-yard screen pass he caught where he started to the outside and cut back across the field for the big gain. The Vikings let the clock wind almost all the way down before the 3rd down play that went in for the touchdown. Cook had 23 rushes and 6 targets this week and saw another 13 carries and 2 targets go to Alexander Mattison. Cook is the clear number 1 and work horse in Minnesota but the Vikings trust both of their running backs right now and that should help reserve the legs of Cook for the entire season.

RB Alexander Mattison, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 61 - 0, Rec: 2 - 3 - 0 (2 targets)
With every week that passes, it looks more and more like the Vikings got this draft selection right. Mattison showed flashes of speed, power, and hands catching the ball out of the backfield this week. He had his second highest number of carries and yardage on the season and would have had 30 more yards had 2 runs not been called back by penalties on the final drive of the game. Mattison had a 28-yard run where he showed bother power and speed by getting to the outside and lowering his shoulder to run through a defender to finish the run and would have tacked on a similar 19-yard run that was called back due to penalty. He also caught both of his targets but only managed 3 yards on screen plays that were read by the Washington defense. Mattison has been a great pickup for the Vikings and should see more and more work as the season goes on.

WR Stefon Diggs, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 143 - 0 (7 targets)
Diggs tied Randy Moss for the Viking franchise mark of 3 straight games with 125+ receiving yards this week. He caught all 7 of his targets and the only blemish was a fumble on the 1st drive of the game. Diggs and Cousins have turned things around since the receiver voiced his displeasure with how the season was going and the Vikings continue to push the ball down the field. Diggs did not get his home run shot this week but did have receptions of 39 and 33 yards on deep crossing patterns that he turned up field on his own. Cousins had a chance to find him on a boot leg play where Diggs had clearly beaten his man, but Matt Ioannidis was already in his face and Cousins had to throw the ball away. Diggs leads all receivers with 3 fumbles so far this season but that has been the only issue in recent weeks for the Vikings star receiver. He got a boost this week with Adam Thielen ruled out, but there looks to be enough targets to go around when he comes back. Bisi Johnson has not done enough to take away too many targets from Diggs and his only other competition is the number of times the Vikings choose to run the ball.

WR Olabisi Johnson, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 27 - 0 (2 targets)
The Vikings have been without a true third receiver almost this entire season. They resigned Laquon Treadwell and have not seen any sort of return and do not have many other options. Enter Johnson who had his 1st career touchdown last week but followed it up with a quiet game this week. He caught both of his targets and had a long catch and run of 16 yards this week. He is not going to put up flashy numbers with Thielen, Diggs, and Cook taking the majority of the touches in front of him, but he is proving to be a nice possession receiver and good third option when needed.

WR Adam Thielen
Thielen was inactive this week with the same hamstring injury that knocked him out of the game last week. It was a short turn around and the Vikings did not want to risk further injuring their star receiver. If everything heals correctly, he should be in line to start again against Kansas City next week.

TE Irv Smith, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 21 - 0 (3 targets)
The numbers do not jump off of the stat sheet this week, but Smith continues to push for more playing time in the Viking offense. Smith caught all 3 of his targets and showed an ability to run complex routes. He has seen his snap percentage increase almost every week while Rudolph has started to see a decline. Smithís longest catch went for 11 yards against the Redskins and he looks to be one of the missing pieces in the Viking offense. Until a third receiver steps up, Smith should continue to see steady targets in the offense.

TE Kyle Rudolph, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 17 - 0 (3 targets)
After finally breaking through with his first touchdown of the season last week, Rudolph went back to having a quiet game against the Redskins. The big tight end caught all 3 of his targets but did not make much of a dent this week. His longest catch went for 7 yards and he failed to pick up a key first down in the first half when he elected to try and run around a defender rather than through him. Irv Smith was also targeted 3 times and was unable to do much with his receptions either. All of the offense this week went through Cook and Diggs and Rudolph put up another dud of a game.