A Week 10 matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins this Thursday will serve as cold, hard proof that it takes more than a lone superstar to make an NFL contender. But while neither team ranks high on the Super Bowl futures, each is capable of erupting in style on any given night.
For the Vikings especially, 2013 has been a down year. Star running back Adrian Peterson’s follow-up to his near-record-setting previous season has been rife with disappointment and tragedy.
That, coupled with a grueling NFC North and constant uncertainty at the quarterback position, can be blamed for Minnesota’s 1,000-1 odds of winning Super Bowl XLVIII in the sportsbook.
The Redskins, in contrast, have had a slightly more complicated go of it. After starting the season slow and seeing Robert Griffin III spend time on the sidelines, the club has rebounded. Through Week 9 the Skins seem to have plateaued just under the .500 mark, leaving oddsmakers to speculate as to just which squad will show up for the Thursday Night Football date in Minnesota.
The Redskins have 100-1 odds on the Super Bowl futures but also a three-point advantage on the NFL moneyline for the Week 10 tilt. Can Griffin and company continue to plug away in the NFC with victories over Oakland, Chicago and San Diego already under their belt?
There may seem to be a gap between the favored 3-5 Redskins and the 1-7 Vikings, but a Washington victory this week would mark just its first set of back-to-back wins this season. Maybe a strong performance from Peterson in front of a Thursday night home crowd could be enough to push his club back into the win column after all.
Peterson may not be on the same pace that he found himself on last year, but coming off of a 140-yard performance, he’s a hard player to bet against. While Washington’s defense leaves much to be desired both in the air and on the ground, it ranks just 22nd in opponent rushing yards against.
Even if AD goes off, though, the Redskins will have a shot at success thanks to the tandem of RGIII and Alfred Morris. The Vikings have given up more than 30 points in all but two of their five losses so far, something Mike Shanahan and company would be wise to capitalize on.