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TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 6: Minnesota Vikings At Washington Redskins

Vikings
Redskins
Quarterback
Christian Ponder appears to be the real deal for the Minnesota Vikings. While he threw his first two interceptions of the season in the Week Five win over the Tennessee Titans, Ponder has excelled at reading defenses, taking what the defense gives him and making accurate throws.
Winner The Redskins are holding their breath because rookie sensation Robert Griffin III had to come out of the Week Five loss to the Falcons after suffering a concussion that the quarterback characterized as mild. While he said he would play against the Vikings, but he will have to pass tests before he gets clearance. Kirk Cousins is a decent backup, but RGIII has to be in the lineup if the Redskins are going to compete.
Offense
Winner The Vikings will use the pounding of running back Adrian Peterson to attempt to wear down the Redskins defense. Percy Harvin is one of the best big-play receivers in the league. He has the ability to accelerate any time he wants to blow by defenders and break open a close game. Michael Jenkins is a solid complementary receiver.
The Redskins also like to unleash a powerful ground game. Alfred Morris may not have Peterson’s pedigree, but he also punishes tacklers with his interior running. Santana Moss had a 77-yard TD reception against the Falcons while Pierre Garcon knows how to get open and he has dependable hands.
Defense
Winner The Vikings are doing a solid job on defense under head coach Leslie Frazier. The Vikings registered five sacks in the Week Four win over the Lions and they followed that up with two more against Tennessee. Linebacker Chad Greenway had nine tackles against the Titans.
The Redskins came up with an inspired effort against the undefeated Falcons andthey did a good job of shutting down Michael Turner and the ground game. London Fletcher had a game to remember with 20 total tackles (8 solo, 12 assists). The secondary is vulnerable and gave up 345 passing yards to Matt Ryan. Redskin linebacker Ryan Kerrigan made a spectacular move in intercepting a Ryan pass and returning it 28 yards for a touchdown.
Special Teams
Winner The Vikings are capable of breaking any game open with their return specialists. Harvin is one of the most instinctive returners in the league and Marcus Sherels had a punt return for a score earlier this year. Blair Walsh made 3-of-3 FG attempts in the win over the Titans.
The Redskins special teams are in deep trouble. Billy Cundiff has been awful two weeks in a row and the Redskins are holding auditions to find a replacement. Punter Sav Rocca is a decent punter, but he is not spectacular

The Winner Is

Winner Vikings
3 out of 4

The Vikings are playing error-free football and they have star players in Peterson and Harvin who can make a difference. The Vikings defense is much better than it was a year ago. However, the Vikings are still a developing team and if RGIII can go, the Redskins will be tough at home.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
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  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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