After a disappointing 4-3-1 start last season, when they had been expected to compete for the NFC’s Super Bowl berth, the Minnesota Vikings can hit the halfway mark on their 2019 NFL schedule at 6-2, if they can capitalize on a visit by the struggling Washington Redskins in a Thursday Night Football matchup. Washington, however, will be looking for its second win under interim head coach Bill Callahan — even as rumors swirl that ‘Skins owner Dan Snyder is planning to pry Mike Tomlin from the Pittsburgh Steelers to take the helm in Washington on a permanent basis, as The Inquisitr has reported.
Callahan, the former Oakland Raiders coach, took over from fired coach Jay Gruden on October 7, following an 0-5 start that culminated in a crushing 33-7 defeat to the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. The ‘Skins won their first game under Callahan, over the Miami Dolphins. But on Sunday, they sank back into futility in a rain-soaked home game against the undefeated San Francisco 49ers, which ended in a 9-0 loss, as reported by Pro Football Reference.
Washington will be forced to contend with their own former quarterback Kirk Cousins, who is so far enjoying the best season of his eight-year career, leading the NFL with a 114.3 passer rating and 9.1 average yards per pass attempt.
Watch a preview of the Washington Redskins vs. Minnesota Vikings Thursday Night Football clash in the video below, courtesy of ESPN’s Good Morning, Football.
Minnesota has another league leader in running back Dalvin Cook, whose 725 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns each currently rank as NFL bests. Four of those TDs have come in the Vikings’ current three-game winning streak, according to Redskins.com, as have 375 of his rushing yards — more than half of Cook’s league-best total.
“Very dynamic, very quick, can read, so with a running back like that you just have to play sound and you have to squad him up,” Washington safety Landon Collins, who leads the team with 59 tackles, told Redskins.com when asked about Cook. “I’m ready for it. I’ll tell you that much.”
But Cousins will be missing half of his wide receiver tandem, as 29-year-old Adam Thielen will be forced to sit out the Thursday night game with a hamstring injury, according to a report from Vikings.com.
Thielen’s 391 yards and 27 receptions are second on the team to fellow receiver Stefon Diggs, who has caught 30 passes for 562 yards.
Kickoff is set for 7:20 CDT at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The Thursday Night Football game will be broadcast by Fox Sports and streamed online by Amazon Prime.