Ten Spot Review: Redskins 32, Vikings 21

John Keim reviews the ten spot and how he did at predicting what would happen against the Vikings.

1. We asked: Can the Redskins stop Adrian Peterson?

Based on how the season has gone for the Vikings, we thought this would be difficult. It wasn't. The Redskins stopped Peterson and the ground game by using lots of eight-man fronts, sometimes with a safety and other times with an extra linebacker. They also used some five-man lines. And to help, the Redskins switched ends Phillip Daniels and Andre Carter, creating better matchups on both sides.

2. We asked: What else must they do against Peterson?

We thought they had to avoid one-on-one situations because of his cutback ability. We also thought the Vikes would run straight at Carter, who would have been punished by Bryant McKinnie. But playing on the other side, Carter was more effective. The Redskins did a good job limiting their one-on-one chances against Peterson by playing fast and always having a lot of guys around the ball.

3. We asked: Can Tarvaris Jackson hurt them?

Only by being efficient, we said. He had been more efficient until lately. He looked anything but efficient early in the game and his coaches took too long to adjust to Washington's defense. They needed to use more three-receiver sets early to open up running lanes. Instead, they got stuffed on early downs and forced Jackson into tough passing situations. He didn't hurt them; instead, he helped them with two ugly throws under duress.

4. We asked: Will the Vikes always run left?

No, they would – and did – not. But it didn't really matter; the Redskins stopped both sides.

5. We asked: How will Todd Collins fare?

We thought: Better than he did against the Giants, where a gusty wind coupled with his squirtgun arm made for a bad combination. However, the receivers were getting open. And they did so again last night. This time, in ideal conditions, he didn't miss. We thought Collins would take what was available and he did; often taking it downfield. We thought he would be fine and he was better than that.

6. We asked: Can the Redskins run the ball?

They haven't proven they can run the ball consistently at all this season, we said. They didn't sting Minnesota on the ground, but they did prove their point with a very effective ground game. It helped that they could pass the ball well – and that Antoine Winfield did not play. We also thought Clinton Portis looked much fresher and that they could run on the edges against them. They did.

7. We asked: Who will have a big game?

We thought: Tight end Chris Cooley. He wasn't a huge part of the offensive package, but he did have a long touchdown grab on a play in which Collins rolled right, taking safety Darren Sharper with him, and then threw back to a wide-open Cooley on a post.

8. We asked: What's the mood of the locker room?

We thought it was very relaxed. Their demeanor is conducive to playing well late in the season. If playing loose helps, this team had a major edge and it showed.

9. We asked: Will the Pro Bowl snubs serve as motivation?

We didn't think it would and, really, I doubt it had any effect. Besides, no one was snubbed that badly. The major motivator is making the playoffs and dedicating the season to Sean Taylor.

10. We asked: Will the Redskins win?

Once again, we picked incorrect.

In the past, I've picked them to win road games and they lay a major egg. Fool me once, you know. But this is a different team with Collins in control and it showed again last night. Funny, but I picked Minnesota after thinking all week that Washington would win. But the injuries scared the heck out of me. At some point, they have to catch up, right? Maybe, but not now. On my shaky behalf, I did think if they won the turnover battle, the game would tilt to their favor and that's what happened. But I blew the pick. I'll file that one with all the others I've blown. Still, the surprise isn't that Washington won, it's how much the Redskins dominated.


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