|Date of game: 11/7/2013
Recap: Minnesota vs. Washington
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Minnesota's defense came up with a goal- line stand in the final minute to secure the Vikings' 34-27 victory over the Washington Redskins.
Robert Griffin III and the Redskins took over from their own 20 with 3:36 to play. Despite having no timeouts, Washington was able to move the ball down the field. Jordan Reed's 17-yard catch moved the ball to the 8-yard line. Following a run by Roy Helu and two incomplete passes, Griffin lofted a fourth-down pass to Santana Moss. The wide receiver caught the ball but was out of bounds.
"It felt like we were in control, and when you walk off the field with a loss, it's very disheartening," Griffin said, "but I don't think anyone on this team is going to quit."
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder completed 17-of-21 passes for 174 yards, two touchdowns and an interception before leaving late in the third quarter with a dislocated left shoulder. Matt Cassel connected on 4-of-6 passes for 47 yards in relief.
Adrian Peterson carried the ball 20 times for 75 yards and two touchdowns for the Vikings (2-7), who snapped a four-game skid.
John Carlson caught seven passes for 98 yards and a score for Minnesota, which announced earlier this week that tight end Kyle Rudolph could miss as much as a month with a fractured foot.
"Well, I'm sure, like our team and myself, you guys are happy that the Minnesota Vikings got a win at home on a Thursday night," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "It's a lot more fun when you get wins in our league and they are hard to come by. So proud of our football team the way they prepared and fought tonight."
Griffin completed 24-of-37 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns for the Redskins (3-6), who beat San Diego in overtime last week.
Alfred Morris carried the ball 26 times for 139 yards for Washington, which held a 27-14 lead early in the third quarter. Pierre Garcon caught seven passes for 119 yards and a touchdown.
The Vikings scored the final 20 points of the game to claim victory. Minnesota converted a pair of third downs on its first possession of the second half. Carlson capped the nine-play series with a 28-yard score.
After the Redskins went three-and-out, Marcus Sherels returned a Sav Rocca punt 20 yards. Washington was called for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on the play.
Jarius Wright caught a 28-yard pass to move the ball to the 15-yard line. Flushed from the pocket and scrambling, Ponder got hit hard by Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall while trying to stretch the ball over the left pylon.
Officials initially ruled it a touchdown, but replays showed the ball was out of bounds at the 1-yard line. Cassel took over under center and handed off the ball to Peterson for the go-ahead score with 57 seconds left in the third stanza.
"I thought that Christian (Ponder) played outstanding, I mean he battled all night long and what a great effort by him," Cassel said. "Great effort by our team in the second half to comeback, fight through adversity and get a win tonight."
Blair Walsh made field goals of 39 and 40 yards in the fourth period to make it a 34-27 contest.
The game started with Washington's defense intercepting a pass for a seventh consecutive game. Ponder was picked off by Brandon Meriweather, who returned the ball 30 yards to the 49-yard line of the Redskins.
Washington moved the ball down the field and was set up at the 1-yard line following a defensive pass interference penalty on Xavier Rhodes. But the drive stalled and Kai Forbath made a 20-yard field goal.
The Vikings responded with a touchdown to take the lead. Carlson's 21-yard catch combined with a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty moved the ball to the Washington 15. Peterson capped the six-play series with an 18-yard TD run.
The Redskins came right back with a score of their own. Leonard Hankerson's 29-yard catch and Morris' 26-yard run put the ball at the Minnesota 8-yard line. Garcon then scored on a wide receiver screen, making it 10-7 Washington with 1:17 left in the first quarter.
The back-and-forth battle continued as the Vikings bridged the first and second quarters with a 73-yard scoring drive. Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings caught passes of 20 and 10 yards, respectively, to move the ball to the Washington 11-yard line. On 1st-and-goal from the 2-yard line, Ponder rolled to his right before finding Patterson in the end zone.
But the Redskins scored two more touchdowns before the half. Reed's 11-yard TD catch with five minutes remaining made it 17-14 Washington. The big play of the series was Garcon's 32-yard catch-and-run.
Following a three-and-out from the Vikings, the Redskins started from their own 23-yard line. Garcon caught passes of 17 and 12 yards to move the ball to the Minnesota 33. Reed and Moss followed with catches of 12 and 13 yards, respectively. On 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Griffin found Logan Paulsen in the end zone. The score made it 24-14 with 10 seconds left.
Washington got a 40-yard field goal from Forbath in the early stages of the third quarter. Garcon helped set up the field goal with a 30-yard catch-and- run.Game Notes
Despite the loss, the Redskins lead the all-time series between the two teams
by a slim 12-11 margin, which includes four playoff matchups. This marked the
fourth consecutive year that the teams have met ... Redskins safety Reed
Doughty played in his 100th career game ... Vikings cornerback Chris Cook,
safety Jamarca Sanford, right tackle Phil Loadholt, left guard Charlie Johnson
and Rudolph missed the game ... Washington linebacker London Fletcher made his
208th consecutive start, tying Derrick Brooks for the most consecutive starts
by a linebacker in NFL history.