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Early Look: Vikings vs. Washington

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings are riding a three-game win streak, and will now look to wrap up the second quarter of the season on a short week.

Minnesota will play host to Washington on Thursday Night Football. Kickoff is at 7:20 p.m. (CT) from U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Vikings sit at 5-2 following an impressive 42-30 road win over the Lions.

Washington, which fell 9-0 at home to San Francisco on Sunday, is 1-6.

Here’s a look at the Vikings Week 8 matchup against Washington:

Passing: Kirk Cousins is on fire.

The Vikings quarterback continued his hot streak Sunday by completing 24 of 34 passes [70.6 percent] for 337 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 141.4.

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He became the first quarterback in NFL history to have at least 300 passing yards and a passer rating of 130 or higher in three consecutive games, all of which have been Vikings victories.

Over his past three games, Cousins has thrown for 976 yards with 10 touchdowns and one interception.

Cousins has completed 132 of 189 passes (69.8 percent) for 1,711 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions through seven games. His passer rating of 114.3 leads the NFL.

Washington will counter with a familiar face at quarterback in Case Keenum, who spent the 2017 season with Minnesota.

Keenum completed nine of 12 passes (75 percent) for 77 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions Sunday. He had a passer rating of 91.3.

Keenum has started all six games for Washington, completing 114 of 172 passes (66.3 percent) for 1,213 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions in 2019.

Rushing: Dalvin Cook had another 100-yard rushing performance, marking the fifth time in seven games he has crossed the century mark.

Cook ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, including a 4-yard score to help seal the deal in the fourth quarter against the Lions.

Minnesota ran for 166 yards as a team, slightly ahead of its average of 160.0 per game that ranks third in the NFL.

Cook leads the NFL with 725 rushing yards and is tied for the league lead with eight rushing scores.

The Vikings will also see a former player in the backfield Thursday, as the best running back in franchise history returns to Minnesota.

Adrian Peterson holds Vikings records in rushing attempts (2,418), yards (11,747) and touchdowns (97).

Peterson ran for 81 yards on 20 carries Sunday. He has 83 rushes for 307 yards and a touchdown in 2019.

Receiving: A number of players stepped up in the pass game for the Vikings after Adam Thielen left Sunday’s contest midway through the first quarter with a hamstring injury.

Stefon Diggs had seven receptions for 142 yards, including a 66-yard reception in the fourth quarter after a “gutsy call.”

Kyle Rudolph had five receptions for 58 yards and a score, with his 15-yard touchdown marking the 400th catch of his career. Rookie Irv Smith, Jr., had five catches for 60 yards, his highest production as a pro.

Bisi Johnson had four catches for 40 yards, including his first-career touchdown from a yard out. Fullback C.J. Ham also caught a 5-yard touchdown, his first of the season. Thielen also had a 25-yard score before exiting the game.

Diggs has a team-high 30 catches for 562 receiving yards and also has four touchdowns. Thielen leads the team with six touchdowns, and has 27 receptions for 391 yards.

Steven Sims led Washington with three catches Sunday, but tallied just five yards. Trey Quinn had two receptions for 30 yards. Three other plays combined for four receptions for 42 yards.

Rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin tops Washington in yards (419) and touchdowns (five). He also has 24 receptions. Running back Chris Thompson has a team-high 27 receptions, and has 276 yards.

Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and Redskins.

Defense: The Vikings weren’t at their best, but did enough to get the win over Detroit.

Minnesota allowed a season-high 433 yards and was hurt by undisciplined play, as the Vikings had five penalties accepted for 58 yards, not counting a roughing-the-passer call on linebacker Anthony Barr that was offset by a Lions penalty.

Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen each recorded a second-half sack to help disrupt the opposing quarterback, while Trae Waynes had a fourth-quarter interception, his first of the season.

Hunter has 7.0 sacks so far in 2019, which is tied for fourth in the NFL. Griffen has 4.0. Safety Anthony Harris has a team-high two interceptions.

The Vikings are now tied for sixth with 327.9 yards allowed per game, and are sixth in points allowed at 17.6.

Washington ranks 21st as its defense allows 370.4 yards per game. The unit is tied for 22nd by allowing 25.1 points per game.

Washington’s defense had its best game of the 2019 season Sunday, as the unit allowed a season-low nine points along with 283 total yards (second-fewest in 2019).

Quinton Dunbar leads Washington with three interceptions, while Jonathan Allen has 3.0 sacks.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.

Special teams: Vikings kicker Dan Bailey made all six extra points but missed his lone field goal try Sunday. He has made eight of 10 field goals, and 22 of 23 extra points so far in 2019.

Punter Britton Colquitt averaged 49.0 yards on two punts. He’s averaging 46.6 yards per punt in 2019.

Mike Hughes had his first two punt returns of the season and gained nine total yards.

Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins also missed a field goal Sunday, and did not attempt an extra point. He’s made five of eight field goals in 2019, and all nine extra points.

Redskins punter Tress Way averaged 49.5 yards on four punts against the 49ers. He averages a whopping 50.0 yards per punt.

Sims averages 22.2 yards per kickoff return, and Quinn averages 7.1 yards per punt return.

Halfway there

The Vikings have a quick turnaround this week, but then get an extended break as they reach the halfway point of the 2019 season.

Minnesota will have 10 days to rest and prepare for a Week 9 trip to Kansas City to face the Chiefs, who are also currently 5-2 and lead the AFC West.

The Vikings last played at Arrowhead Stadium in 2011.

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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!

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