Kirk Cousins was given 84 million reasons to leave the nation’s capital, and the Minnesota Vikings’ recent surge has justified that decision, as they head into a Week 8 showdown with the struggling Washington Redskins on Thursday night.
How to watch:
When: Sunday, Oct. 24
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.
Time: 8:20 p.m. EDT.
Live Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Cousins signed a fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million contract by the Vikings (5-2) in free agency before last season after seven years with the Redskins (1-6). He was a full-time starter the final four seasons, but led Washington to only one playoff berth back in 2015. That lack of success followed him to Minnesota, as the Vikings under-achieved to an 8-7-1 record in 2018.
That hangover continued in Minnesota’s 2-2 start with Cousins failing to find a rhythm with receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. But after making a public apology to Thielen on his podcast after Minnesota’s Week 4 loss to Chicago, things have changed for the better.
The Vikings have averaged 36 points and 480 yards during a three-game winning streak, posting season highs in both categories after Sunday’s, 42-30, victory at Detroit. Cousins threw for 337 yards and four touchdowns, including a 25-yard hookup with Thielen before he left with a hamstring injury. Diggs, meanwhile, had his second straight 100-yard game and third in four with seven receptions for 142 yards.
Adrian Peterson is making his second appearance in Minnesota following his 2016 departure, having gained 18 yards on six carries with the Arizona Cardinals in 2017. The 34-year-old has been productive despite Washington’s struggles and finished with 81 yards on 20 carries in Sunday’s, 9-0, home loss to San Francisco. Peterson has totaled 199 of his 307 yards in the last two games and needs 38 to move past Jerome Bettis (13,662) into seventh place on the NFL’s all-time rushing list.
Interim Redskins coach Bill Callahan said ex-Viking Case Keenum will keep the starting quarterback job after failing to sustain any drives vs. 49ers in a steady rain. Keenum was 9 of 12 for 77 yards as Washington finished, with 154 total yards and 10 first downs. The Redskins have totaled 27 points in their last four games, with 17 of them coming in their lone victory over the winless Miami Dolphins.
This is the first meeting between the teams since Keenum led the Vikings to a 38-30 win over Cousins and the Redskins in 2017. Both quarterbacks topped 300 yards, with Keenum throwing four TD passes.