Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Redskins: Live Score, Highlights and Analysis
Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
The Minnesota Vikings were hoping to win their fourth straight game and first place all to themselves in the NFC North.
Instead, they ran into a buzz saw called Robert Griffin III. Griffin was too much as he led the Redskins to 38 points, after being shutout in the first quarter. With 182 yards passing and 138 yards rushing, his 320 total yards accounted for 88 percent of the Redskins offense.
Final score: Redskins 38, Vikings 26.
The Vikings looked very good early scoring on their first three drives. The problem was they were kicking field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. A 9-0 lead after one quarter, quickly turned into 24-9 deficit before Blair Walsh kicked his fourth field goal with 4:23 left in the third quarter.
Christian Ponder did his best to bring the Vikings back with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but his three turnovers led to 14 points for the Redskins. He finished the game 35-of-52 for 353 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
While it's a tough loss for the Vikings, they are still in a good position in the NFC. Their four wins is still good enough for the second most in the conference as the Falcons held on to beat Oakland 23-20 at home to remain unbeaten at 6-0.
Things don't get any easier for the Redskins with road games against division-rival New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Giants, who soundly defeated the 49ers 26-3 in San Francisco today. are leading the NFC East with a 4-2 record.
For the Vikings, they return to the Metrodome to face the Arizona Cardinals who suffered their own devastating loss to the Buffalo Bills, 19-16 at home. It will be the battle of a couple of 4-2 teams.
Now the Vikings have had the honor of being defeated by the top two picks in the draft.
First it was Andrew Luck in Week 2 at Indianapolis, and now Robert Griffin III in Washington.
Fortunately for the Vikings they don't face Trent Richardson, the third player taken in the 2012 draft by Cleveland.
In the battle of upcoming NFL quarterbacks, Robert Griffin III outplayed Christian Ponder.
Griffin finished 17-of-22 for 182 yards with a touchdown and an interception, resulting in a 97.2 passer rating.
Ponder, with the highest yardage total in his career, finishes 35-of-52 for 352 yards, with a pair of touchdowns and interceptions. His passer rating for the game was 83.2.
Griffin also dominated on the ground. He was the game's leading rusher with 138 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns. Combined he had accounted for 321 of the Redskins' 361 yards. An incredible 88.7 percent of the total.
0:22 left in the game: GAME OVER. An interception by DeAngelo Hall in the end zone ends an eight-game losing streak at home for the Redskins, as well as the Vikings' three-game winning streak.
For the first time in three games Mike Shanahan has defeated Leslie Frazier.
Final: Redskins 38, Vikings 26.
0:54 left in the game: No doubt the fans for both teams are holding their breathe. Can there be a miracle finish for the Vikings? Even if they score, they have to find a way to get the ball back.
2:43 left in the game: I said the Redskins' offense needed to come up big and did it ever—or should I say, did Robert Griffin III come up big.
After being sacked for the first time in the game, facing a third-and-6, he runs for a touchdown. Incredible.
His 76-yard touchdown jaunt puts the Redskins back up by 12 points.
Redskins 38, Vikings 26.
3:36 left in the game: Really? A pass interference call in the end zone has allowed the Vikings to score a touchdown. This time tight end Kyle Rudolph gets his touchdown.
Perhaps Christian Ponder went to the well once too often. On the two-point try he targeted Rudolph again. We just might have a game yet.
Down by five, this will be a critical drive for the Redskins.
3:53 left in the game: Adrian Peterson gains 18 yards on a short pass from Christian Ponder. What does he do at the end of the play? He doesn't spike the ball, nor does he signal a first down.
He understands the situation, and leaves the ball on the field and hustles back to get ready for the next play.
6:48 left in the game: Why on a 3rd-and-1 do you pitch the ball back five yards?
With an athlete like Robert Griffin III you got to be able to sneak a ball for a yard.
The Vikings' defense does enough to get the ball back for the offense down by 11 points.
It will be interesting to see if the Redskins go into a prevent defense. The only thing it seems to prevent is the ability to preserve a victory.
8:02 left in the game: It may be a little too late, but the Vikings finally score a touchdown.
Down by 19 points the Vikings needed to go for the two-point conversion. Minnesota tight end makes a great leaping catch in the back of the end zone for the two points.
Redskin 31, Vikings 20—nice drive, but there is not enough time left for the Vikings with how well the Redskins offense has been rolling.
10:30 left in the game: Why is Percy Harvin spinning the ball after a six-yard gain? Someone needs to point to the scoreboard.
When you're down 31-12, it's no time to be cocky.
12:40 left in the game: Are you kidding me?
Former Vikings Madieu Williams returns an interception 24 yards for a touchdown.
If this were a Monday Night Football Game from the early 70's Don Meredith would be singing Turn Out the Lights the Party's Over, as the Redskins extend their lead to 31-12.
Now the Vikings are 6.333 field goals behind—can you tell I'm a little bitter, as I'm sure most Vikings fans are. Of course, if anyone said the Vikings would be 4-2 after six weeks before the season started, their sanity might have been questioned.
End of the third quarter: It's going to be an uphill-climb for Christian Ponder and the Vikings against an inspired defense.
Trading field goals for touchdowns has the Vikings down by four field goals with 15 minutes left in the game.
4:18 left in Q3: The Vikings have another scoring drive, but they seem unwilling to join the touchdown party.
At least Blair Walsh is making a great case as the Vikings' rookie of the year. Another 12 points to add to his total of 48, giving him 60 on the season.
Kicking on grass doesn't seem to bother him at all.
Redskins 24, Vikings 12.
9:37 left in Q3: Robert Griffin III leads the Redskins in the opening drive. The Vikings have not been able to slow down Washington's offense that has now scored 24 straight points.
The Vikings need to take a page out of the Redskins' book and instead of running Adrian Peterson out of a two-tight end set, look to open things up with four wide receivers.
With fewer defenders in the box in just might open up the game in the pass and the run.
The Redskins will get a chance to really put this game away. They get the first possession of the second half.
If the Vikings want to stay in this one, the defense will need to pitch another 3-and-out.
Halftime: The story of this game has been about the play of the defenses. In the first quarter the Vikings' front seven was making a great push at the line, limiting the effectiveness of the Washington offense.
Averaging 163 rushing yards per game, the Vikings have held Washington to 44 through two quarters.
Head coach Mike Shanahan made the right adjustments, and the Redskins dominated through the air in the second quarter. Robert Griffin III is 11-for-14 for 116 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
After scoring nine points on three field goals in the first quarter, the Redskins were able to apply some pressure to Christian Ponder. They have sacked him twice, and the result of the pressure was the interception by Lorenzo Alexander.
The ball slipped out of Christian Ponder's hand, and Alexander was able to pick it off out of the air. The resulting touchdown is the difference in this game.
Redskins 17, Vikings 9.
2:14 left in Q2: In a quick reversal of fortunes, the Redskins did what the Vikings could not—capitalize on the an interception.
Robert Griffin III needs only one pass to score the Redskins second touchdown of the game. Washington has 17 unanswered points in the second quarter.
Talk about a momentum shift in less than a quarter.
2:27 left in Q2: All Vikings in the first quarter as they outscored the Redskins 9-0. It's been all Redskins in the second quarter as they take the lead 10-9 with a two-yard touchdown run by Alfred Morris.
Finally, after four scoring drives ending in field goals, the Redskins score the first touchdown. So far both quarterbacks have been as good as advertised. Christian Ponder is 9-of-13 for 107 yards and Robert Griffin III is 10-of-13 for 110 yards.
10:56 left in Q2: The Redskins are on the board with a 50-yard field goal from Kai Forbath. It cuts the Vikings lead to 9-3, as this is turning into a game of field goals.
The scoring drive went 48 yards on 13 plays, taking just under six minutes.
So far the kickers are doing all the scoring. The extra kicks could just come in handy if this one remains close in the fourth quarter.
13:30 left in Q2: While this game has not started well for the Redskins, they have to be happy with the results in the earlier games.
The Cowboys lost 31-29 to the Ravens, and the Lions shocked the Eagles in overtime, winning 26-23.
The Redskins need to score on this drive, currently at the Vikings' 35-yard line.
3:00 left in Q1: The Vikings defense has been able to keep Robert Griffin III, and the Redskins' offense in check. Washington has zero net yards on two possessions—the second ending in an Antoine Winfield interception, his second of the year.
The turnover results in yet another field goal for Blair Walsh.
The Redskins should feel very grateful—they could be down 21-0 instead of only 9-0.
6:18 Left in Q1: After a 3-and-out, the Vikings march down the field again. They seem to have no problem moving against the Redskins' defense.
Unfortunately the outcome has been two chip-shot field goals from rookie Blair Walsh—20 and 27 yards out. It keeps the Redskins within one score.
11:31 left in Q1: Vikings take an early 3-0 lead.
All of the Vikings stars contributed—catches by tight end Kyle Rudolph to covert a third down. A Percy Harvin with a catch for another 15 yards, and Adrian Peterson running like a man on a mission .
In the Vikings' first drive he has 40 yards on three carries—the third going for 32 yards as he ran through two tacklers.
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