After Sunday’s shutout against the San Francisco 49ers, the only thing the Washington Redskins can rely on this Thursday under the roof of U.S Bank Stadium is the weather.
A horrible rainy night in DC actually gave Bill Callahan a chance of picking up a win, but with both quarterbacks completing just 21 passes combined, the conditions had the biggest impact on the game outside of Robby Gould’s three field goals.
In the last three weeks, Kirk Cousins has shown himself to be the player the Vikings had hoped he would become when he signed a huge contract in 2018.
Throwing for 976 yards, completing 10 touchdowns, with just one pick. He leads the NFL is yards per pass attempt (9.1) and passer rating (114.3). He’s fifth in TD passes and fourth in completion rate (69.8)
And now gets to play – *checks notes* – his former club. Who are one of the worst in the NFL.
The Redskins, according to Pro Football Reference, have conceded the seventh-most yards and the eighth-most points in the league. Only three teams have had more passes completed against them and the 14 passing touchdowns they’ve leaked only puts them three ahead of the Cardinals and Falcons – who are the worst in football.
Even if you take out the 33-7 loss to the Patriots, in four games the Redskins have still dropped 20 points on average. With the Vikings themselves averaging 36 points per game since they lost to the Raiders, this is an offence not to be messed with.
When they’ve played strong, offence heavy teams, the Skins concede over 28 points. Even Mitchell Trubisky managed to put 31 on the board.
Even without Adam Thielen in the line-up, the Vikings are favourites to put numbers on the board. Over the opening seven games they are scoring just under four touchdowns a game.
Against the Lions and Eagles, the Vikings QB threw four touchdowns on his own. The impressive Dalvin Cook has three running scores in the same time period. The home side are no defensive experts though, giving up 14 passing TDs this season, but, as they’ve spent so much time ahead of opponents, they have only given up one TD along the ground.
Don’t despair if the Redskins expectedly go behind early, they still have a chance to connect for a couple of scores too.
All eyes will be on Stefon Diggs during Thursday Night Football. After his disgruntled comments sparked trade rumours, the wide receiver has stayed put. He’s caught three touchdowns since the Week Two fixture against Green Bay, but all of them came in the win over the Eagles. That means the wideout’s failed to catch the ball in the end zone in five out of seven games. He’s hard to trust as an odds-on Anytime Scorer punt.
Adam Thielen is also confirmed out, leaving more opportunities for the other receivers. Kyle Rudolph, Bisi Johnson, Cook and C.J Ham caught 11 passes between them against the Lions, but outside Diggs, it was rookie tight end Irv Smith who emerged as Cousins top target.
Finishing with five catches for 60 yards on six targets will help the Vikings QB trust the first-year player more and with only 10 teams conceding more yards to Tight Ends, there is a huge chance he could land his first career touchdown under the bright lights of Thursday Night Football.