Win this one for Wade Wilson

Categories: NFL

Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings, 7:30pm

Pre-game

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Joe Gibbs puts his smug 8-1 record against the Vikes on the line tonight.

It was nearly 20 years ago when the Minnesota Vikings, after improbably defeating the heavily favored New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers, traveled to Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium to play the Washington Redskins in the 1987 NFC Championship game. The game came down to the final play of the game and the dream ended when Wade Wilson’s pass was broken up by the Skins’ Darrell Green near the goal line for a heartbreaking 10-17 loss. Washington went on to defeat the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.

Tonight’s match-up is a different. The Redskins come into the Metrodome tonight in an attempt to hold on to their slim playoff hopes. Washington will be eliminated tonight with a loss and this improbable Vikings team can clinch the final wild card berth with the victory thanks to a New Orleans loss. The Redskins and Vikings have very similar styles of play. They feature a two-headed running attack in Clinton Portis (1085 yds, 8 TD) and Ladell Betts (285 yds, 1 TD). Washington also prides itself on stopping the run with the 9th ranked rushing defense, allowing 98 yards a game. But as opponents have found out all year, the Minnesota Vikings, via the Williams Wall, force teans to beat them with the pass and usually find a way to move the chains with their record setting backs Adrian Peterson (1278 yds, 12 TD) and Chester Taylor (747 yds, 7 TD). Unfortunately for the Skins if they can’t run that means relying on Todd Collins.

I’d take Tarvaris any day.

Minnesota should be playing like the season is on the line tonight. The Dome should be rocking in the second consecutive prime time game for a team who six weeks ago was left for dead at 3-6. It’s been quite a ride so far. No one wants it to end now.

Finally, I leave you with a commercial that first aired during that game in 1987. Who knew Joe Piscopo was a Skins fan? With fans like that, who needs enemies?

Washington 22, Minnesota 0

Halftime

Ugliest half of football this season, and that’s saying a lot.

It’s clear which players showed up for the game tonight, and not one of them is wearing a purple and gold jersey. You’d swear that a playoff berth wasn’t on the line. Incredible.

Coaching shares a lot of the blame so far. If there’s nine men in the box, then it’s a good idea to pass. And what about the idea of mixing up the run game a bit? Screens, or delays, or ANYTHING other than a very predictable run up the middle. The interception was tough, but the coaching staff has to rally the troops, keep them calm and focused.

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It’s downright embarrassing to be in a very crowded sports bar and your team lays an egg. 70 yards and 3 turnovers are not going to get it done.

To top it off, John Madden just uttered, “Doesn’t it seem like the Redskins are playing harder than the Vikings.” Even that senile ol’ bastard knows the score of this game.

Bench Jackson. He’s obviously flustered and isn’t capable of leading us back. But I’m not sure if a Brooks or a Kelly is able to do that either. All I know is we need points and we need them fast. At least we’re only down 22.

I'm bracing myself with booze for this second half.
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Washington 32, Minnesota 21

Post-game

We didn’t deserve to clinch the 6th spot tonight. This is one of those games where the score belies the actual contest.

The Vikings gave this one away in the first half. Minnesota is not a team designed for a big second half comeback and it couldn’t be more evident tonight. The playoffs were in reach, but this team chose- yet again- to make it interesting heading into week 17.

I can’t begin to tell you how hard it is to sit and listen to Washington fans cheer (rightly so) the terrible play of the Vikings today.

It’s hard to understand how this team allows a team to rush for 105 yards while only putting up 81 yards themselves. At home no less. Peterson looked tentative. The secondary was porous to say the least and Minnesota made Todd Collins look good (22/29, 254 yds, 2 TD). Where is the team that we watched the last month and a half?

Next week the Vikes travel to Colorado to “see what happens” I guess. If the Skins win at home versus Dallas (in a game that means nothing to the Cowboys) then it doesn’t matter what the Vikings do, win or lose. The season will be over, the five game winning streak will be for not and the questions will swirl about what’s next for a team with some bright spots but areas that need immediate addressing if this team is to compete against the likes of the NFL elite.

This game was nearly as embarrassing as this:



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