Coming off playoff appearances last season, the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings were both expected to be in the postseason mix again this season. Instead, the teams have a combined record of 4-12 are are struggling to even stay on the fringe of contention.
At 3-5 and playing in the NFC East, Washington has a much better shot at the playoffs than the 1-7 Vikings. A win against Minnesota on Thursday would pull the Redskins within one game of .500 and most of SB Nation's NFL analysts expect just that. Five of SB Nation's six NFL experts predicted a Washington victory with only Matt Ufford picking the Vikings.
|Game||Ryan Van Bibber||Joel Thorman||Jason Chilton||Stephen White||David Fucillo||Matt Ufford|
|Vikings vs. Redskins||WAS||WAS||WAS||WAS||WAS||MIN|
Washington has been up-and-down this season, even after rebounding from its 0-3 start. The Redskins scratched out a pair of close victories recently, but the wins were surrounded by blowout losses to Dallas and Denver.
Statistically, the two teams are similar and both offenses rely on the running game. Washington is 12th in the NFL in scoring, averaging 25.4 points per game while Minnesota is 17th at 23.3 points per game. Defense has been a massive issue for both teams and is the main reason neither is currently in playoff contention. Minnesota is 30th in the league in scoring defense with the Vikings allowing 31.5 PPG. That is just slightly ahead of Washington which is 31st at 31.6 PPG.
The Vikings will also have the benefit of playing at home. Minnesota is 0-3 in true home games with its only win coming in a home game in London. Minnesota will gain an even bigger home-field advantage this week with Washington forced to travel on a short week.
Unlike SB Nation's analysts, the eight NFL experts at CBS Sports favor the Vikings. Five of the eight picked Minnesota to win.