Game Snapshot: Vikings at Redskins

<B>KICKOFF: </B>Sunday, 1:00 ET <BR><B>GAMEDATE: </B>01/02/05 <BR><B>SURFACE: </B>Grass <BR><B>TV: </B>CBS, Sam Rosen, Bill Maas, Chris Myers; DirecTV, 7

SERIES

17th meeting. The Redskins lead 9-7, including 4-3 at home. The Vikings have never played at FedEx Field. The Vikings won the last meeting, 41-7 at the Metrodome in 1998.

Minnesota Vikings (8-7) at Washington Redskins (5-10)

2004 RANKINGS

Vikings: offense 3rd (15th rush, 2nd pass); defense 29th (23rd rush, 29th pass).

Redskins: offense 29th (20th rush, 29th pass); defense 2nd (3rd rush, 5th pass)


KEYS TO THE GAME

Redskins QB Patrick Ramsey has shown he can be effective in coach Joe Gibbs' offense when he has help from the running game. The problem is, RB Clinton Portis is out, leaving it to backup Ladell Betts to make headway on the ground and open up the passing game.

Gibbs' attack has been criticized as being too conservative and he must be willing to attack the Vikings' soft secondary downfield for the Redskins to have a shot at the upset.

The Vikings know that if they win, they're in the playoffs. They were upset in Week 17 last season so they should be motivated to come out strong. The Redskins are strong against the run and the pass, but the key to stopping the Vikings' high-octane offense is to contain RB Michael Bennett. QB Daunte Culpepper will pick apart any defense in short passing situations, although WR Randy Moss has yet to prove he is 100 percent back from his hamstring injury.

FAST FACTS

Vikings

  • Culpepper has already set single-season franchise records with 37 touchdown passes and 4,418 passing yards.

  • WR Marcus Robinson has only three catches for 25 yards over the past three games.

    Redskins

  • Portis will finish the season 185 yards shy of becoming the first player in league history to rush for at least 1,500 yards in each of his first three seasons.

  • WR Laveranues Coles is averaging just 10.5 yards per reception.



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