As far as ESPN Thursday Night Football matchups go, the Washington Redskins traveling to Mall of America Field to take on the Minnesota Vikings doesn’t sound like much. Washington, like its QB Robert Griffin III (RG3), hasn’t been firing on all cylinders, while the Vikings have lost four in a row as running back Adrian Peterson struggles to make much happen behind his questionable offensive line. But Thursday night is ideal for a live NFL game, so if you can’t grab the game at 8:25 EST / 5:25 PST on ESPN, you can watch Thursday Night Football online free using one of several different methods.
The 3-5 Washington Redskins have momentum on their side after a dramatic 30-24 overtime victory over San Diego on Sunday. And, although they may be emotionally tired after that win, tonight’s Thursday Night Football game comes against one of the league’s worst teams, which could give the Redskins back-to-back wins for the first time this season. They’ll need to play more consistently, though, especially from the quarterback position. RG3 doesn’t have bad figures, having gone 181-300 for 2,169 yards and nine touchdowns. But his QBR is a lowly 24th in the league, placing him squarely in the bottom half of the rankings.
For such a high-profile quarterback with high expectations, even coming off ACL surgery, that QBR isn’t acceptable to Washington fans. In fact, when you watch Thursday Night Football online free tonight, you likely won’t realize that RG3 is the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year. However, you may not know that on the other side of the ball, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is the reigning MVP.
Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson was a man among boys last season, much as he has been since returning from what could’ve been a career-ending injury. Through nine weeks of the 2013 NFL season, though, he’s looked decidedly more human, having rushed 153 times for 711 yards and a 4.6 yards-per-carry average. He does have seven touchdowns, but then again, QB Christian Ponder has rushed for four in just three weeks, so take that for what it’s worth. The Redskins defense does allow an average of 116 yards rushing per game, though, 12 yards more than the Vikings D allows, so Peterson may be able to break out tonight.
In fact, the Redskins defense on the whole has struggled this year. Washington is ranked 30th in the NFL for overall defense, the team ranks 31st in total points allowed, and it’s given up at least 410 yards during the past two weeks. Washington may be able to dodge a bullet tonight, as the Vikings’ 16th-ranked rushing game and 27th-ranked overall offense may not exploit the Redskins biggest weakness. But, if the offensive line for the 1-7 Vikings is going to have a turnaround game and give Peterson some room to maneuver, tonight’s Thursday Night showdown against the Redskins may be their best opportunity.
With that said, the Vikings have been gouged by injuries for tonight’s game, with eight players likely to never leave the sideline. Out for sure are tight end Kyle Rudolph, running back Matt Asiata, cornerback Chris Cook, safety Jamarca Sanford, right tackle Phil Loadholt and defensive tackle Fred Evans. Listed as doubtful against the Redskins are defensive tackle Letroy Guion and guard Charlie Johnson.
In light of the Vikings’ poor record and apparent status as an infirmary, it should be no surprise that the Redskins are favored. You can watch Thursday Night Football online free on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket Package. The package requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any game. In addition, ESPN offers subscribers to their cable sports network through a satellite or cable package via this page. This streaming option is also available through the ESPN mobile app and ESPN app via Xbox 360. You can also watch online with the Verizon NFL mobile app with a cost of $5 a month. Tune in tonight at 8:25 EST / 5:25 PST to see the ESPN Thursday Night Football game between the 3-4 Washington Redskins and 1-7 Minnesota Vikings.