The Vikings take their three-game winning streak to prime time this week, as they host the Washington Redskins on Thursday Night Football. Here are five Vikings-Redskins storylines to watch during the short week of preparation.
1. Familiar faces meet at U.S. Bank Stadium
The "familiar faces" storyline is not a unique one in the NFL. But this week's Vikings-Redskins matchup has a familiar faces storyline that's a little more profound than the standard matchup. The Redskins feature Adrian Peterson on offense, who is the Vikings all-time leading rusher. The Redskins will also have Case Keenum at quarterback, who helped guide the 2017 Vikings to the NFC Championship Game thanks in large part to the Minneapolis Miracle, which Keenum orchestrated along with receiver Stefon Diggs. Oh, and then of course there is Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who was drafted by Washington in 2012. Cousins threw 99 touchdown passes in 57 starts over six seasons with the Redskins. He was also franchise tagged twice in Washington before hitting the free agent market and signing in Minnesota. So, yea, this familiar faces storyline is a little more significant than usual.
View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.
2. Both Vikings and Redskins in the midst of tough stretches in schedule
Playing on Thursday night following a game the previous Sunday is a tall task, and its' what both the Vikings and Redskins are faced with this week. The Vikings will look to keep things rolling in the right direction after they collected their third win in a row last week in Detroit, while the Redskins are looking to gain traction after a tumultuous first six weeks of the season that included being shutout last week at home by the undefeated San Francisco 49ers. After this week's challenge, the road doesn't get any easier for either club. Both teams hit the road next week for contests against teams with a winning record, as the Vikings head south to Kansas City to face the Chiefs and the Redskins head to Buffalo to play the Bills.
3. Vikings defense will face power rushing attack with Callahan and Peterson prints all over it
The Redskins fired head coach Jay Gruden following a Week 5 loss that dropped the club to 0-5. Longtime NFL coach Bill Callahan, who has an expertise in offensive line play, was named the interim head coach and he immediately put an emphasis on the power running game. The following week in a win over Miami, Peterson carried the ball 23 times for 118 yards, showing flashes of the in-his-prime Peterson from his days in purple. The Vikings defense has worked against a well-schemed and productive rushing attack featuring Dalvin Cook for months now, but Washington's style features more power running while the Vikings have a more varied approach. It will be a good test for what has been a fairly stout Vikings run defense (7th in NFL) in 2019.
Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and Redskins.
4. Supporting cast may have to step up again in Thielen's absence
Receiver Adam Thielen was forced from last week's game in Detroit and did not return because of a hamstring injury he suffered while catching a 25-yard touchdown pass. The injury to Thielen was obviously unfortunate, but it also provided an opportunity for others on the offense to step up. Rookie receiver Bisi Johnson recorded his first career touchdown for the Vikings next touchdown, CJ Ham hauled in a score and Kyle Rudolph recorded his first touchdown of 2019. With reports suggesting it's unlikely the Vikings stalwart receiver will play this week, that supporting cast will have yet another chance to step up in a big way for an offense that is clicking on all cylinders.
5. Primetime Purple will jazz up Vikings Thursday night game
The Vikings will wear their color rush uniforms on Thursday night. The purple pants-purple jersey ensemble is only worn on special occasions, and this Thursday night is one such occasions. The organization has also launched a whole new set of apparel and merchandise to commemorate the Primetime Purple theme. Fans can click here to purchase the merchandise and join the coaches, players and staff in displaying and wearing Primetime Purple.
Get Your Primetime Purple Jersey
The Vikings will wear their Primetime Purple jersey, Thursday, Oct. 24 against the Redskins. Visit the Vikings Locker Room Team Store to buy your Primetime Purple jersey today!