Minnesota Vikings: Five takeaways from victory over the Washington Redskins

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback Kirk Cousins
LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback Kirk Cousins /
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LANDOVER, MD – NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback Case Keenum
LANDOVER, MD – NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback Case Keenum /

Offensive Takeaways

1. Case Keenum did more than enough to survive another week.

As stated, Keenum posted 304 yards and four touchdowns in another great performance as the starting quarterback. Of course, Teddy Bridgewater returning to the field was a huge storyline and cause for controversy. If Keenum had anything to say about it, it’s that he isn’t letting Bridgewater’s return impact him.

For most of the game, Keenum confidently led the offense down the field. Most impressively, he responded to three Washington scoring drives in the first half with three touchdowns, giving Minnesota a 21-17 lead. When Mackensie Alexander picked off Kirk Cousins with just under two minutes left in the second quarter, Keenum took advantage of the opportunity by finding David Morgan II for a 1-yard touchdown pass with 22 seconds left.

Related Story: Case Keenum isn't perfect, but he doesn't have to be

Basically, he had as perfect of a first half as a quarterback could have. That being said, the second half wasn’t the same story for the quarterback. While he started the half with a quick touchdown drive, he would throw his next two passes to Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger. Although the defense bailed Keenum out the first time, the Redskins took advantage of the second interception with a touchdown, making the score 35-27.

To Keenum’s credit, he led a long field goal drive that took over seven minutes off the clock and ultimately, put the game out of reach for the Redskins on the next drive. Regardless of his shortcomings, he deserves much of the credit for another Vikings victory, likely earning him another start.

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2. Jerick McKinnon wasn’t used enough. He needs more touches going forward.

Surprisingly, Jerick McKinnon only received 10 rushes and was a limited participant in the passing game with only two catches for 15 yards. Coming off a fantastic first half of the season, McKinnon established himself as the Vikings’ most dynamic back without Dalvin Cook, who went down in Week 4 with a torn ACL. Even so, Latavius Murray dominated the touches with 17 rushes for 68 yards against Washington.

While it’s great to see Murray put together a solid day, the fact he started the game and got more touches was a little mind-boggling. Of course, McKinnon isn’t a workhorse type of back, so having Murray is a luxury and personally, I like what Murray brings to the table alongside McKinnon. Yet, McKinnon warrants at least 50 percent of the touches, if not slightly more at this point. He’s clearly the more dynamic back, so Minnesota should look to give him more touches in the coming weeks.

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3. Rashod Hill filled in admirably in his first career start at right tackle in place of Mike Remmers.

Once again, the offensive line was phenomenal and once again, they performed well without a starting offensive lineman. This time Minnesota was without starting right tackle Mike Remmers, giving Rashod Hill his first career start. Simply, the 25-year-old showed starting potential as his name wasn’t called once. A great thing for an offensive lineman.

It’s worth noting the Washington defense is an above average pass rushing team. Coming into the game, they ranked twelfth in the league with 22 sacks, including six by stud outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. To add, Kerrigan mainly attacks the right side of the offensive line, meaning Hill was asked to handle the Redskins’ top pass rusher for a majority of the game. Not only did he do that, but he didn’t give up a pressure in the process. So, huge props goes out to the promising tackle.