Nov 3, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) hands the ball off to Redskins running back Alfred Morris (46) against the San Diego Chargers in overtime at FedEx Field. The Washington Redskins won 30-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Five Questions With Riggo's Rag

Recently, I had an opportunity to interview Maurice Barksdale about the upcoming contest between the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins on Thursday Night Football.  Barksdale is the Editor for Riggo’s Rag, the Washington Redskins Fansided site.  Riggo’s Rag is a great site for any and all information on the Washington Redskins.

Here are the five questions I asked Mr. Barksdale:

1)  The Redskins opened the year struggling for wins.  With their new found poise, do you think they will make a serious run at an NFC East title?
Yes, I do think the Redskins can make a run at the NFC East title.  But first they have to keep winning, which is why this game against the Vikings is a must win.  Minnesota is a having a bad season, and for the Redskins to have any chance at the playoffs, they have to beat the teams that they should.  They can’t take the Vikings for granted because they are a talented team, but this is a game the Redskins will be favored to win.  And a loss here, could end any run at the NFC East title before it begins.
2) What will Washington do to try to contain the rushing attack of Adrian Peterson?

Nov 3, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs with ball for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath (38) linebacker Justin Durant (52) and Kyle Wilbur (51) and safety Barry Church (42) at AT

The Redskins haven’t been very good against the run all season, so it’s imperative they not let Peterson make a highlight reel of them.  The main thing they need to do is to try to stay in front of Peterson to keep him from breaking multiple long runs.  The Redskins tackling has been atrocious at times this season.  Defenders have been a liability in space and in the open field, which has led to numerous missed tackles.  So they will need to gang tackle Peterson, and ensure they wrap him up and bring him down before he can get in the open.  However, I think Peterson will get his yards against the Skins, they just need to keep him from running all over them.

3)  Which Vikings players on offense and defense will the Redskins be concerned about the most?

Of course Adrian Peterson is a concern for the Redskins, but that’s a given.  The player on offense to really worry about the most is Christian Ponder.  Ponder has struggled this season, so the Redskins need to make sure that trend continues.  Because if Ponder plays above his head passing the football, it will probably lead to a Redskins loss.  Also, Ponder is a very good scrambler, and I can see him breaking containment in the pocket to make throws down the field.  The Redskins can’t allow this to happen.

On defense, It’s Jared Allen.  Robert Griffin III has gotten better during the season after a slow start.  But there have been times when he’s been indecisive in the pocket.  A pass rusher like Allen could make things difficult if he has success getting after the quarterback.  Also, the Redskins special teams are shaky, having given up some long kick returns for touchdowns.  So they can’t let Cordarrelle Patterson give the Vikings bonus points with scores on kick returns.

4) Which Washington Redskins player has been the biggest surprise, and which has been the biggest disappointment so far this season?

Nov 3, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed (86) signals a first down during the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers at FedEx Field. The Redskins defeated the Chargers 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest surprise has been the play of rookie tight end Jordan Reed.  The third round pick out of Florida has developed into a primary target for RGIII, and has been a matchup nightmare for linebackers and safeties.  He has 38 receptions for 425 yards, and that’s in just 7 games.  The biggest disappointment has been the play of London Fletcher.  He has been a stalwart at inside linebacker for many years, but now it seems as though Father Time is catching up with him.  He’s clearly slowed down, and is one of the reasons why Adrian Peterson stands to have a big game.  The Redskins need Fletcher to have one of his better performances of the season in order to slow down Peterson.

5) What is your prediction for final outcome and score of the game?
I predict a Redskins win.  The Redskins seem to finally be coming together as a team at the right time, and are finally getting their offense, defense, and special teams on the same page at the same time.  The Vikings appear to unraveling and there is clear dissention going on between their players and coaching staff.  I think this will play a factor as to which team sticks together down the stretch and which team falls apart.  While the game will be close at the outset, I think the Redskins will pull ahead late in the game, and hold on for the tough win on the road.  28-24 Redskins.
A major “Thank You” goes out to Maurice Barksdale and Riggo’s Rag for taking the time to answer my questions.   Good luck to both teams on Thursday night.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings Robert Griffin Washington Redskins

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