Washington Redskins @ Minnesota Vikings
The 5-2 Minnesota Vikings brought out their purple and yellow alts out to host the 1-6 Washington Redskins, only the sixth time in franchise history that the jersey combination has been used. It was an interesting matchup on paper despite the difference in team record with players facing their previous teammates. Quarterback Kirk Cousins, now in his second year with the Vikings, spent the first six years of his career with Washington. Meanwhile, quarterback Case Keenum spent a year with the Vikings before moving on to Washington. Running back Adrian Peterson spent the first ten years of his career in Minnesota before bouncing around the league and eventually ending up in Washington. The Vikings chalked up another win, 19-9, and moving up to 6-2 while Washington dropped further to 1-7.
Adrian Peterson, An Ageless Wonder
Adrian Peterson may be 34 years old with a bad ankle sprain, but he still runs like a young running back as he read blocks and cut his way to 76 yards on 14 carries. With his performance, he moved to sixth all-time in rushing yards and passed Hall of Fame running backs Jerome Bettis and LaDainian Tomlinson. Even the Vikings crowd were appreciative of their former player as they cheered and chanted his name. I’m not crying, you’re crying!
Peterson, Keenum, and the defense kept Washington in this game after trading turnovers with Minnesota early in the game. The offense brought the team into the red zone twice in the first half, but only came away with field goals and were down 6-13 at halftime. The game quickly turned sour for them when Keenum was ruled out with a concussion at halftime and rookie Dwayne Haskins had to fill in. Keenum finished the game completing 12 out of 16 passes for 130 yards. Haskins still looked overmatched in the second game of his career against a Vikings defense known for good pass rush and confusing coverages. He only threw five passes, with one falling incomplete and the other intercepted. Of the three passes he completed, two were four air yards or less, and the third was four yards behind the line of scrimmage.
Kirk Cousins Content to Let Dalvin Cook Carry the Team
Washington had no answers for Dalvin Cook, whether he was running or catching passes. The NFL’s leading rusher had 98 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown, along with 73 receiving yards on five receptions. He was a key part in getting the Vikings into position to score a touchdown with a minute left in the first half with a 31-yard screen that left defenders sprawled in his wake.
With that kind of performance by Cook, Kirk Cousins enjoyed an easy, efficient day throwing short and allowing his receivers to make plays after the catch. He completed 23 of his 26 pass attempts for 285, with only one of those incompletions being thrown within the field of play. The average completed air yards for Cousins was four yards as only seven of his passes were thrown further than five air yards. Still, it was not a perfect performance by the Vikings offense. Receiver Stefon Diggs fumbled on the first drive of the game, trying to do too much after the catch and negating a 32-yard gain. This is his fourth fumble of the season, leading receivers in fumbles.