Teddy Bridgewater is back. Sort of.
The exciting Minnesota Vikings QB has had a long road back from injury, but it looks like he will dress for this Sunday’s game at Washington. However, with Bridgewater trying to shake off the rust and Sam Bradford knocked out of the box, HC Mike Zimmer has declared Case Keenum the starter against the Redskins.
Strange time for a quarterback quandry. The Vikings are winners of 4 in a row, having whipped the Packers, Ravens and Browns soundly over the last 3 weeks. Minnesota ranks in or near the top 10 in total offense and defense, and is a slight favorite to beat the Redskins on the road.
But only slight. Washington stands at 4-4 and will have the superior starting QB with Kirk Cousins taking snaps. Last weekend, the ‘Skins upset the Seahawks to keep playoff hopes alive in the nation’s capital.
Who: Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins
When: Sunday, November 12th, 1 PM EST
Where: FedExField, Landover, MD
Lines: Minn (-1.5) at Wash (+1.5) / O/U Total: (40.5)
This might look like an evenly-matched game at a glance. Bookies certainly think so, and the action is actually driving the point spread slightly toward Washington. But look deeper, and the Redskins are a hurting team that has only its fine QB and WR-position-by-committee to rely on.
The Redskins are starting 4 new offensive linemen due to injuries. Leading rusher Chris Thompson has a paltry 251 yards, and the team is averaging under 4 yards per carry. The Seattle win involved a lot of luck – Seattle out-gained Washington by almost 200 yards and sacked Cousins 6 times. The Seahawks missed 3 field goal attempts and took 16 penalties in what was their sloppiest performance of the season.
Keenum isn’t great, but he’s been solid and simply over-shadowed by the hype surrounding the return of Bridgewater. The QB was excellent against Cleveland in a lop-sided win last week, smartly getting rid of the ball in the face of blitzes and quick pressure.
Take the Vikings to win straight-up or ATS.
The defense should be able to hold its own against a host offense that is beaten up and challenged in the blocking game up front. Cousins isn’t a miracle worker when faced with penetration up the middle, and if Keenum fails to give Minnesota a halftime lead, look for Bridgewater to make his return in the 3rd quarter.