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Inside the Numbers – Redskins vs. Vikings

November 10, 2017
The Redskins are off a hard to fathom win in Seattle over the Seahawks and return home to take on the rested Minnesota Vikings at FedExField, Sunday at 1 PM.

Let’s go “Inside the Numbers” for this critical NFC matchup.

1 – Victorious & Vicious (on D) Vikings

The Vikings are off a bye week and a win in London over the Browns,33 -16. They pulled away in the second-half as most good teams do against bad teams. They’ve won four in a row and are (6-2) overall.

Minnesota has Case Keenum (149 – 233, 1,610) with seven touchdowns and three interceptions at quarterback, who probably won’t hurt you but has been very efficient.

Adam Thielen (48-627, 13.1, TD) leads the way for the Vikings receivers and hurt the Redskins last year by scoring a late first-half touchdown.

Minnesota lost Dalvin Cook, their first-round rookie running back to a torn ACL and Jerick McKinnon (69 – 287, 4.2, 3 TD) leads the way and comes to Landover on Sunday.

All of that is nice, but it is far from the strength of Mike Zimmer’s crew. The Vikings have been dominant on defense, but have not really been challenged for a full game by a good quarterback since week four, their last loss (14 -7) to the Detroit Lions and Matt Stafford.

They did allow 19 points in the season opener, a win, over Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints and 26 points to Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers the next week.

Overall, Minnesota is allowing just 282.1 net yards per game (# 4 in NFL), 4.6 yards per play (# 2 in NFL), 81.4 rushing yards per game (# 3 in NFL), 200.8 passing yards per game (# 3 in NFL) and allowing opposing offenses to convert only 27.7% of the time (# 2 In NFL) on third-down.

2 – Cobra Kai & Return of the Mack

Mack Brown returns to FedExField where he was more a figment of the media and some in the fan base’s imagination than anything legitimate. At least in the coaching staffs’ eyes.

He has not played a game with Minnesota yet because of their bye and as a result of being signed after Minnesota returned from London and their win over Cleveland. 

Brown, in his Redskins career, ran for 111 yards on 16 attempts, but that total was bolstered by a late 61-yard touchdown run in Chicago last year with the win on ice.

Kai Forbath also returns to FedExField (as he did last year) and he obviously made a much bigger impact on the Redskins than Brown did. Before we get to that, Forbath is 21/22 on field goals and somehow, only 12/16 on extra point attempts. Forbath is 4/4 on 50 + yard field goal attempts and his only miss came from 30-39 yards.

Forbath has only 23 touchbacks on 45 kickoff attempts (51.1%), which was one of his main weaknesses here with the Redskins. He’s missed an extra-point attempt in each of the last two Vikings’ games and missed one each in their first two games.

During his Redskins career, Forbath kicked in 41 games and overall was (60-69) on field goal attempts, with his first one from 50 yards out, against, you guessed it, the Minnesota Vikings at FedExField in 2012. The Vikings placekicker that day was Blair Walsh, who gifted the Redskins a win last week by missing three field goals for the Seahawks, the team that he missed a 27-yard game-winning field goal against in the playoffs against, while still a member of the Vikings.

He made 87% of his kicks with Washington and overall in his career, he is at 88.2% and (105 -119).

Forbath is the Redskins franchise’ best field-goal kicker by percentage among placekickers that have more than one attempt.

 In his career with the Redskins, he made (91-93) extra point attempts (rules were adjusted for 2015, Forbath was released after one game)  

Here’s an amazing number: Since Forbath has joined the Vikings, he’s (36-37) on field goal attempts in 15 games spanning from last year but he’s (23-30) on extra point attempts in that same span, with four of those seven misses coming this season.

3 -   The Last Time….

The Redskins beat the Vikings last year at FedEx, with Preston Smith racking up two sacks and an interception. Kirk Cousins was (22 -33) for 262 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He was sacked only once but the overall key was Rob Kelley running 22 times for 97 yards along with Chris Thompson’s four attempts for 25 yards.

The bottom line is this: If the Redskins cannot run for about one-hundred yards, they will probably have no chance, barring Minnesota self-destructing via turnover or penalties.

4 – With a win….

The Redskins would be 4-3 in NFC play, which is important considering that they are (0-3) in NFC East play and both records could very much be in play when the season ends to determine a playoff spot.

The Redskins would be 11-10 all-time against the Vikings in the regular season and 14-12 all-time including the postseason.

Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for eight seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for five years. He covers the Redskins, Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade for Monumental Sports Network (  Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN