Vikings-redskins Today

December 31, 1993|By Vito Stellino

Site: RFK Stadium, Washington

Time: 3

TV: Channels 11, 9

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM), WTEM (570 AM)

Line: Vikings by 7

Records: Vikings 8-7; Redskins 4-11

Last week: The Redskins lost to the Dallas Cowboys, 38-3. The Vikings beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 30-10.

Last meeting: The Redskins beat the Vikings, 24-7, in the playoffs last year in what turned out to be Joe Gibbs' last victory as Redskins coach. Brian Mitchell ran for 109 yards, added 84 yards on returns and 16 yards on three receptions for a 209-yard day.

The series: The Redskins have a 6-3 edge in regular-season games and a 3-2 edge in playoff games.

On the sidelines: Richie Petitbon, in his first season as Redskins coach, is 4-11. Dennis Green, in his second season as Vikings coach, is 19-12.

What the Redskins have to do to win: They need quarterback Mark Rypien to give them a passing attack. He passed for only 81 yards last week in Dallas and his longest completion went for 14 yards. The way he's throwing, they might be better off using Mitchell in the Wishbone. Reggie Brooks, who holds the Redskins' rookie rushing record with 995 yards and should become the team's sixth 1,000-yard rusher, gives them a running game, but the Redskins waste it because they don't have a passing game to go with it.

What the Vikings have to do to win: Avoid mistakes. The Redskins beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons with defensive touchdowns. The Vikings have to avoid giving the Redskins easy scores. The Vikings can dominate as long as quarterback Jim McMahon, who passed for 219 yards against the Chiefs and was intercepted only once, and young running back Scottie Graham, who ran for 166 yards against Kansas City, have solid days and don't turn the ball over. With the Redskins demoralized, the Vikings only have to worry about beating themselves.

Injury report: Vikings: NT Henry Thomas (ankle) is questionable. S Todd Scott (ribs) is probable. Redskins: TE Frank Wycheck (foot) is questionable. T Ray Brown (thumb), LB Kurt Gouveia (ankle), CB A. J. Johnson (hamstring), DE Charles Mann (knee) are probable.

Outlook: This game should be the lock of the year. The Redskins obviously have been distracted by their fight over the payment of union dues and have nothing to play for. The only thing the Vikings have to worry about is coping with the cold weather. If the Vikings aren't overconfident, it should be a rout.

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