Sunday, December 23, 2007

Week 16: Redskins vs. Vikings

In week 15 against the Giants, this Redskins team again proved me wrong and turned in their best game of the season. Clinton Portis was able to run the football, the offensive line was able to open up holes and protect the quarterback and the secondary was able to contain the explosive pass play of the Giants. More importantly, this team showed grit and determination that has been missing all season. The most important play of the game was LaRon Landry's late hit on Plaxico Burress. Yes, I know it resulted in a flag and eventually the Giants got some points during that specific drive, but it speaks volumes to your own team and to the other team about Landry's intensions and determination in the secondary. Plays like that are building him into a recognizable entity within the Redskins' defense and it gave Manning another player to worry about as he checked through his progression. It's something Sean Taylor would have done and I'm glad to see that Landry is hoping to fill his shoes.

This week the Redskins face the Vikings who in all respects are a lesser team. Yes, they have an explosive running back and a great run defense but they also have a weak secondary and a horrendous passing game.
They also struggled last week against a Bears team that the Redskins handled in Week 14. The Bears held Peterson under 100 yards, sacked Jackon twice and pulled down three INTs. The Redskins' defense is better than that and can take advantage of the young quarterback in the same way they attacked Eli Manning. I'm still not convinced that Todd Collins is a savior and after the horrendous completion percentage of last week, he's going to have to do a lot better to open up the passing game.

The Redskins have to run the football to win the game and, ideally, Clinton Portis goes over 100 yards. But this Minnesota defense is tough and that's going to be a struggle. Bottom line, this Redskins team has done the same thing week in and week out. Pound the rock, play physical defense and get a couple of passes inside the redzone to Cooley. The only difference between their wins and their losses is whether they execute or not. This game will come down to who wants it more and who steps up to take it. I think the Skins will take it this week. They are hungry and are finally putting their talent to use.

Redskins 17, Vikings 10

- The Hokie

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