Redskins-Vikings keys to the game: defense
The Redskins' defense was hampered by injuries entering last week's game, but they were still able to have a solid performance and get the win. However they were not able to stop Chris Johnson from rushing for 130 yards. Usually when a back is able to post numbers that high, his team wins the game.
This week they have the same challenge with Adrian Peterson, and they can not expect the same results if Peterson has similar success running the ball.
So here's what the Redskins' defense must do to win:
The biggest challenge consists of two things first: The defensive line will have to fight to push back the Vikings' big and strong offensive line. If they can get off the ball and win the battle upfront, it will allow the linebackers to run around and make plays. That means getting to Peterson before he gets his shoulders north and south, but it also means having a chance to get into Brett Favre's face.
The tight end, Visanthe Shiancoe, is Favre's favorite target, but so is the young speedster Percy Harvin. The Redskins' secondary will need to concentrate on how to contain and limit these two targets in particular to control the game.
Shiancoe provides that strong and fast receiving tight end that Favre depends on when he needs to just get rid of the ball. Harvin, on the other hand, has that big-play ability where he can score from anywhere on the field, so they will try and get him the ball in space, whether by screen or downfield. Slow these guys down, and it's a guarantee that Favre will throw the ball to the defense.
So here it is: (1) stop Adrian Peterson in the run game; (2) control the line of scrimmage both on runs and passes; (3) keep steady coverage on Visanthe Shiancoe and Percy Harvin. If they can execute these keys, it should be a good day for the Redskins defense.
I'm not giving the Redskins the edge because they are better personnel-wise; these units are pretty evenly matched. The edge goes to the Redskins defense because they have more to play for at this point, and I believe they will play their tails off to win their phase of the game.
| November 24, 2010; 3:02 PM ET
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