A pair of winning streaks will be put on the line this week just outside the nation's capital.
The Minnesota Vikings (6-1) will visit the Washington Commanders (4-4) at noon (CT) Sunday in a matchup of teams that have won five and three consecutive games, respectively.
Minnesota and Washington have met 27 times, with the Vikings holding a slim 14-13 edge in the all-time series. The Vikings have won six of the past eight games against Washington since the 2010 season, including the past two matchups in 2017 (38-30) and 2019 (19-9).
Let's see who the experts are picking to win the game:
Vikings 27, Commanders 20 — Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Everyone keeps waiting for Minnesota to get its comeuppance, but the schedule keeps delivering teams like Washington. Yes, the Commanders have won three straight games that all took minor miracles. Taylor Heinicke gives his talented receivers a chance to make plays. But the Vikings underrated tackle duo of Christian Darrisaw and Brian O'Neillcan mitigate the Commanders biggest strength in the pass rush, giving Kirk Cousins time to remind Washington what it let walk away.
Commanders 27, Vikings 26 — Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
Minnesota hasn't been blowing teams out but has been finding a way. The Commanders defense has played better lately, and I think it will here. The Commanders take it in a slight upset.
Vikings 27, Commanders 21 — Staff, Bleacher Report
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins goes back to Washington where his career began as a starter in the NFL. Ironically, Commanders signal-caller Taylor Heinicke has memories with the Vikings because he spent parts of three seasons (2015-17) on their practice squad. Perhaps both signal-callers will come into this matchup with a little more motivation.
Regardless, the Vikings have the clear edge with a better offense that features star wide receiver Justin Jefferson and three-time Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook. Though Minnesota just acquired tight end T.J. Hockenson from the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, he could have a decent role this week as Irv Smith, Jr., recovers from a high ankle sprain.
Heinicke has rekindled his rapport with Terry McLaurin, who caught six passes for a season-high 113 yards last week, but fellow wide receiver Curtis Samuel hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 2, and the Commanders top running backs, Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson, both average fewer than 3.8 yards per carry.
Vikings 34, Commanders 24 — Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News
The Kirk Cousins revenge game will guarantee that the Vikings stay red-hot. The Commanders cannot cover Justin Jefferson and the rest of his wide receivers well. Minnesota also has found its ideal power running game with Dalvin Cook. Taylor Heinicke will have more success throwing it around but one-dimensional catchup mode won't work too well at home.
Vikings 24, Commanders 20 — Bill Bender, Sporting News
The Commanders have shown fight with Taylor Heinicke under center, and that includes two road victories in the past three weeks against NFC North opponents. The Vikings have limited their past three opponents to 76.3 rushing yards, and Dalvin Cook is warming up. Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson help Minnesota extend its commanding lead in the NFC North.
Vikings 28, Commanders 21 — Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk
The Commanders have played better with Taylor Heinicke than they did with Carson Wentz. But they won't play well enough to play a Vikings team that is beginning to look like a legitimate contender to get to the Super Bowl.
Vikings 27, Commanders 21 — Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
Until the Vikings fail to find a way to win a game against an inferior foe late, I'll assume they won't.
Pre-game win probabilities: Vikings 63% — FiveThirtyEight.com
7 of 7 experts (2 experts didn't pick) pick the Vikings, ESPN.com
4 of 5 experts pick the Vikings, The MMQB
6 of 6 experts pick the Vikings, Bleacher Report
10 of 10 experts pick the Vikings, The Athletic