FBG says: Bad matchup. The Washington Redskins have yet to throw for more than 166 yards in a game since Bill Callahan took over as head coach in place of Jay Gruden. Callahan publicly stated his intent to run the ball substantially more than the Redskins did in the opening five games of the season. Callahan's preference for the run-game is unusual, considering the Redskins have trailed for the majority of the season thus far, and the pass-heavy approach has been an effort to make up ground in the frequently lopsided games Washington has played. While last week's run-heavy game was a product of both a brutal matchup with the 49ers top-ranked defense as well as torrential downpours throughout the game, Washington held true to Callahan's wishes in his coaching debut. In the team's lone victory against the Miami Dolphins, Case Keenum threw for only 166 yards. Rookie standout Terry McLaurin still managed to post respectable numbers in the game, however. McLaurin finished with 4 catches on 7 targets for precisely 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. McLaurin is the only non-running back on the Redskins with more than 165 receiving yards this season, as he has totaled 419 yards even while missing one game due to an injury. Aside from the rookie, no pass-catcher has been able to make a consistent impact in the passing game. Washington's offensive line is an average unit. All five starters in the trenches are approximately average for their respective positions in 2019. As the lone play-maker in a low-volume passing attack, Terry McLaurin is the only semi-reliable producer in Washington's struggling offense.
The Minnesota Vikings have defended the fourth-most pass attempts in the NFL so far this season, in large part due to their run-heavy offense minimizing the opposition's scoring opportunities. Although the Vikings have faced a high volume of pass attempts, the efficiency numbers they have allowed ranks amongst the league's best. Minnesota's strong pass defense starts with the pass rush. Along the defensive line, both Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter rank amongst the league's top edge rushers. Hunter ranks fourth in the NFL with seven sacks, while Griffen has contributed four sacks of his own. At linebacker, Eric Kendricks is one of the best coverage linebackers in the league. In limited playing time, Eric Wilson has also thrived in coverage, but he has been on the field for approximately 25-percent of total coverage snaps. In the secondary, Minnesota's weakness at cornerback has been masked by elite safety play. Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris make up, arguably, the league's best safety pairing. Both Smith and Harris are elite in coverage- Harris leads the team with two interceptions, and Smith has one of his own through the first seven games of the season. In a short week matchup that has typically favored the defensive side of the ball, expect Minnesota's defense to suffocate the Washington passing attack in week eight. Barring true heroics from rookie Terry McLaurin, there is no viable candidate to gash the Vikings' secondary and produce respectable numbers for Washington in this game.