This Sunday night, the Redskins face the Minnesota Vikings in the most important game of the year. A win will allow them to determine their own destiny for attaining the sixth and final NFC wild-card playoff spot but a loss will end any chance.
In this week’s edition of On the Line, Todd discusses the Vikings sensational rookie running back Adrian Peterson, how to stop their top-ranked rushing defense, and much more.
The Redskins are coming off of an impressive win over the New York Giants in the Meadowlands, which, as late history has proven, has not been very accommodating to the burgundy and gold.
With injuries piling up, the team relied on their crop of young reserves such as rookie linebacker H.B. Blades (who saw his first extensive action of the season), safety Reed Doughty (who led the team in tackles), and rookie offensive tackle Stephon Heyer (who kept future Hall-of-Fame defensive end Michael Strahan at bay all night.)
The dependability of the back-ups is no surprise to Todd.
“Our backups have filled in and done a great job all year. Everyone, including Stephon, has stepped in and been very solid to no surprise. When you go through training camp and are involved in the defense or offense for a while, you become comfortable and confident in what you are doing. There really isn’t a major drop-off. Especially when you’re dealing with veterans,” Wade said.
One of those veterans was quarterback Todd Collins, who had not started a game in 10 years and, in very cold and windy conditions, was able to complete passes of 36, 34, and 30 yards.
There will not be any harsh weather to contend with this week in the Metrodome against a Vikings team consisting of the league’s top rushing attack, led by Peterson, who earlier this season broke the single-game rushing record.
“Adrian Peterson has been great this year. It’s rare to have a rookie come in and make an impact the way he has. He is the type of player that makes everyone around him look great. He’s that kind of playmaker,” Todd said.
"The Vikings have an excellent running game and will use the clock throughout the night. We both have the same mentality. I believe time possession will be a major factor in this game.”
Running back Clinton Portis had a solid game last week, rushing for 126 yards and one touchdown. It is imperative that the Redskins running game come out strong and maintain control of the game. Portis and the rest of the offense are squaring off against the NFL’s top-ranked rushing defense but that doesn’t change their philosophy.
“You usually don’t change much of what you’re doing when it comes to stopping certain players in the league. You have to do what you’re doing and do it better. We won’t change what we have worked on all year. It comes down to the offensive line just doing their jobs,” Wade said.
"It will be extremely important for us to be able to run the ball Sunday night. We haven’t been consistently running the ball like we should lately and it has to pick up for this game.”
Tune in again next week for 'On the Line with Todd Wade'.
Behind the Facemask:
With every edition of On the Line, there will be a question and answer session at the end called 'Behind the Facemask'. These questions have less to do with football, than with getting to know Todd a little bit.
Q. What's your favorite thing to do in your 'down' time?
A. In my 'down' time, it depends where I am and what time of the year to determine what I like to do. I love saltwater activity, whether it’s fishing or diving. I spend a lot of time in Florida. I’ve had a place there for awhile and lived there for 4 years when I was with the Dolphins. During the season in my downtime I usually rest on my couch and relax. There’s not much more time to do anything other than that.