With the college football games going on Thursday night, you have to wonder if anyone will even be watching the 1-7 Vikings host the 3-5 Redskins. Luckily, the draw of Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III is enough to interest any football fan. And the good news is that if that game is a complete disaster, you can change channels to watch Oregon take on Stanford or Baylor and Oklahoma as top teams duke it. Either way, it’s going to be a great night for football fans.
The Vikings have had a forgettable season. Despite having one of the best running backs, and last years MVP, in Adrian Peterson, Minnesota has had issues around their entire locker room. They have had a huge quarterback carousel that’s taken place the last month or so, switching back and forth between Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and newly acquired Josh Freeman. It looks like Ponder will get the start on Sunday, despite throwing six interceptions in the last five games. Head coach Leslie Frazier has made it clear that he likes Ponder and the path that the young quarterback can potentially lead this team. However, you still have to ask yourself why they went after Freeman, if they didn’t plan on using him. Either way, the Vikings have to continue the trend that they finally went to last week. In that effort, Adrian Peterson had his best game since opening weekend, picking up 140 yards on 25 attempts. In the previous three losses, AP only had 13, 13 and 10 carries against the Packers, Giants and Panthers, respectively. AP will need to be a huge part of the Vikings game on Thursday, if they hope to get their second win of the season.
As for the Redskins, they are coming off two wins in the last three games, and all three of their wins have occurred in the last five games after starting the season with three straight losses. It would appear that RGIII has finally gotten into shape after missing the entire preseason. Mike Shannahan and the rest of the Redskins got quite a bit of slack during the first month of the season when RGIII showed obvious issues in the system. There was even talk of him heading towards the bench in favor of backup Kirk Cousins. But as it appears that things are better for the Skins, RGIII looks safe for now. The good thing for fans in Washington is that, despite a 0-3 start, the Redskins are in a miserable NFC East and could easily still find their way into the playoffs. But before they do that, they’ll need to make sure that the Vikings don’t squeeze past them on Thursday Night Football.
Even if both teams come out and stink it up, we’ll be in luck with the college games that we expect to be off the charts on Thursday evening.
Free Pick is to take Minnesota plus 1
Minnesota 28 – Washington 24