The Minnesota Vikings got into a track meet against a track star.
And as much as Robert Griffin III was the best player in the game, the Vikings only need to look in the mirror to see where things went wrong in a 38-26 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
Yes, Griffin was sensational, throwing for 182 yards and a touchdown and running for 138 yards and two more scores, but the Vikings shot themselves in the foot too many times on their own to win the football game.
Christian Ponder's pick six interception to Madieu Williams at a crucial point in the fourth quarter made the road to victory just too steep.
Many a Viking fan watched in horror as the Vikings completely dominated the first quarter, only to lead by nine after repeatedly stalling out in the red zone.
If the Vikings score touchdowns on two of those three possessions everything might have been different.
Alas, the Vikings fall to 4-2, having lost both games to the two highly regarded rookie quarterbacks in the league, Andrew Luck and RGIII.
The Vikings made far too many mistakes to win on Sunday, their margin for error is still razor thin. Ponder's miscues combined with 15 penalties is a recipe for disaster.
Washington Redskins 38 Minnesota Vikings 26
Wow. Well, maybe Vikings fans will be able to say they were watching when Robert Griffin III officially became the best football player on the planet.
The Vikings defense has to hold to have a chance and Jared Allen gets a big sack to make things look really good. Two plays later and RGIII goes 76 yards for a touchdown and the probable dagger.
Washington Redskins 31 Minnesota Vikings 26
Oh, so good things can happen if you actually throw the ball downfield. The Vikings get a catch and great run from Adrian Peterson that gains 18 yards and then pick up 27 yards to the one yard line on a pass interference call on Josh Wilson defending Devin Aromashodu.
The refs ignore pass interference on the 2-point conversion try, so the Vikings will need a touchdown to win.
Washington Redskins 31 Minnesota Vikings 20
Ponder answers his biggest gaffe of the year with a quick answer to keep any hope of a win alive. The Vikings move quickly down the field with Ponder making nice throws the entire drive, capping it off with a 9-yard touchdown to Michael Jenkins. Ponder with a nice touch pass up high to Kyle Rudolph for the 2-point conversion that gets Minnesota to within 11.
Washington Redskins 31 Minnesota Vikings 12
Christian Ponder with his worst throw of the year and it's picked off and brought back for a touchdown by Madieu Williams for a touchdown.
Ponder checked down and found an open Michael Jenkins and then just threw it 5 feet over his head to the waiting Williams. He simply has to more careful with the football, especially at that point in the game and at that spot on the field.
3rd Quarter Score:
Washington Redskins 24 Minnesota Vikings 12
Blair Walsh's fourth field goal of the game gets Minnesota on the board in the second half. Adrian Peterson did most of the work as the Vikings moved into Washington territory, but again stalled out. Walsh hit from 37 yards to keep the Vikings within range.
They absolutely need a stop from the defense on this next possession.
Washington Redskins 24 Minnesota Vikings 9
Robert Griffin III is flat out taking over the football game.
The Vikings defense is completely on their heels for the entire first drive of the second half as the Redskins have finally established Alfred Morris as a running threat, and now RGIII is just killing Minnesota with play action. Griffin found Josh Morgan wide open over the middle for consecutive gains of 17 and 16 yards to move down the field.
Griffin finished off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run.
Washington Redskins 17 Minnesota Vikings 9
Lorenzo Alexander picked off a Christian Ponder fumble deep in Vikings territory and the Redskins converted quickly, RGIII hitting Darrel Young with a 6-yard touchdown pass.
Washington Redskins 10 Minnesota Vikings 9
Alfred Morris capped off a 90-yard Redskins drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Redskins their first lead of the afternoon.
Morris ripped off a big 15-yard run during the drive that was followed by a 30 yard gain on a strike from RGIII to Santana Moss.
Minnesota Vikings 9 Washington Redskins 3
The Redskins are on the board as Kai Forbath, just signed this week, is good on a 50 yard field goal attempt.
1st Quarter Score:
Minnesota Vikings 9 Washington Redskins 0
A brilliant interception by Antoine Winfield is turned into three more points as Blair Walsh makes his second straight kick from 27 yards out.
Minnesota Vikings 6 Washington Redskins 0
Rookie Blair Walsh makes his second straight chip shot field goal, from 27 yards out and the Vikings are up 6-0 on the Redskins just over half way through the first quarter.
Ponder got first downs on a 7-yard throw to Toby Gerhart and a 23-yard strike to Percy Harvin.
Minnesota Vikings 3 Washington Redskins 0
The Minnesota Vikings have jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after marching down the field on their first possession, but stalling out inside the 10-yard line.
After Percy Harvin took a short pass for a 15-yard gain, Adrian Peterson had a monster 32 yard run where he broke several tackles to put the ball in the red zone.
Stay with us all day long as we provide instant grades and analysis for the Vikings at each quarter break and then hand out final grades after the game.