The red-hot Minnesota Vikings hosted a one-win Washington Redskins squad on “Thursday Night Football.”
After a relatively competitive first half, Minnesota pulled away. Kirk Cousins continued to dominate from under center. Dalvin Cook maintained his high level of play.
On the other side, Washington lost Case Keenum to a concussion just prior to the half. Rookie Dwayne Haskins struggled big time against an elite Vikings defense.
When all was said and done, Minnesota came out on top by the score of 19-9 for its fourth consecutive victory. Here, we check in on the winners and losers from this Week 8 “Thursday Night Football” matchup.
Winner: Stefon Diggs
Despite a lost fumble early in the game, Diggs put up yet another brilliant outing for the Vikings. He recorded three catches of 30-plus yards, burning multiple Redskins defenders on a consistent basis throughout the evening.
Diggs finished the night with seven catches for 143 yards on seven targets. He came up huge with Adam Thielen out to injury. By virtue of this performance, Diggs has now passed Randy Moss for the most receiving yards in a three-game span in Vikings history. The drama we saw from him and the Vikings earlier this season is now completely gone.
Loser: Josh Norman
This high-priced cornerback is no longer good at football. It sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. After missing last week’s game against the 49ers, Norman was back on the field Thursday. That was not a good thing for Washington.
Simply put, Norman acted as burnt toast throughout the evening.
Diggs is a good player. We covered that above. But this was a horrible play from Norman. He lost track of the receiver before losing where the ball was. No wonder the veteran entered Week 8 having yielded a 130 passer rating on the season.
Winner: Adrian Peterson
Mere days after suffering a high-ankle sprain against San Francisco, Peterson was on the field to take on his former team. At 34 years old, that’s astonishing in and of itself.
How would the future Hall of Famer respond against a stout Vikings defense? Well, Peterson answered the call early and often.
Peterson ended the night having tallied 103 total yards on 16 touches en route to helping keep this game close. Just when we thought this dude was finished, he elevates his game even more.
Loser: Vikings offensive line
We could have focused solely on third-year guard Pat Elflein (three called holding penalties). However, the entire Vikings’ line struggled against a really good Redskins defensive front Thursday night.
Kirk Cousins was consistently under pressure, finding himself hit four times and sacked three times throughout the game. With Minnesota looking to put the game away late in the third quarter, Washington stuffed Cousins on fourth-and-one. If the Vikings want to be seen as legit NFC title contenders, they need this unit to play better.
Winner: Dalvin Cook
Dazzling. Insane. A human highlight-reel. Whatever term we want to use to explain what Cook has done as a third-year player, one thing is simple. He’s a legit MVP candidate. That narrative came nowhere close to changing Thursday evening.
Including this brilliant 31-yard catch-and-run, Cook tallied 171 total yards and a touchdown on 28 touches. Through the first half of the season, this kid is on pace for 2,232 total yards. That seems good.
Loser: Laquon Treadwell
Having played limited snaps thus far this season, Treadwell was on the field due to Adam Thielen missing Thursday’s game. It did not go swimmingly.
The Ole Miss product caught one pass for one yard on one target. Consistency. However, it was a hold in the third quarter with Minnesota driving for a potential game-ending touchdown that stresses how poorly Treadwell has played.
There was legitimately no reason for the receiver to hold on said play. It forced Minnesota to kick a field goal, keeping this game much closer than it should have been.
Winner: Kirk Cousins
Coming off an historical three-game stretch, Cousins seemingly had a plus-level matchup against his former team on Thursday. Immediately out of the gate, that came to fruition.
Despite facing pressure throughout the evening, Cousins was spot on with pretty much all of his passes.
The much-maligned quarterback completed 23-of-26 passes for 285 yards without a touchdown or an interception. If Cousins continues to play like this, the Vikings are going to be a force moving forward. You like that?
Loser: Fabian Moreau
Much like his running partner in Washington’s secondary, this young cornerback fell victim to Diggs and a number of Vikings pass catchers in this one. A specific play comes to mind.
That’s just some ugly stuff from the UCLA product right there. Washington was down its best corners in this game. It was a short week. We get that. However, Moreau and Norman did not come to play against a team that was minus its top receiver. It’s that simple.