What it means: The Redskins (5-6) have pretty much bowed out of the playoff race with this loss. The Minnesota Vikings may have been inspired by their new interim head coach Leslie Frazier, but the Skins still had plenty of opportunities in this game. Donovan McNabb got off to a hot start by leading the Redskins to a touchdown on their first drive. He completed all eight of his passes on that initial drive, but he never regained that form. McNabb wasn't very sharp the rest of the game and he was undermined by drops, one of which led to a key interception for the Vikings.
The Goat: Perry Riley's block in the back wiped out Brandon Banks' 77-yard punt return halfway through the fourth quarter. Banks has become the Redskins' best weapon, but Riley's needless block prevented the Skins from taking the lead. He was also called for another block in the back earlier the game. The Skins don't have much margin for error because their offense isn't capable of putting up a lot of points. Banks also had a 65-yard kickoff return that allowed Washington to kick a field goal in the fourth quarter. He's the most electrifying player on the field and it appears that Kyle Shanahan has finally figured that out based on those Wildcat plays we saw.
Adrian Peterson's backup steamrolls Skins: Washington knocked Adrian Peterson out of the game in the second quarter, but the Vikings simply turned to Toby Gerhart, who finished with 22 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown. And late in the game, the Redskins couldn't stop a 41-year-old quarterback when he scrambled for a game-clinching first down. The Redskins needed to capitalize on the Vikings losing their star player, but Minnesota seemed to rally around Gerhart.
What's next: The Skins will make their first trip to New Meadowlands Stadium to face the 7-4 New York Giants. The Redskins beat the Eagles on the road, but I don't see them pulling the upset over a Giants team that overcame a lot of adversity to beat the Jaguars on Sunday. The Redskins are a wildly unpredictable team, but I think their lack of weapons on offense is catching up with them. When you only put up 26 rushing yards in a game, that's a major problem. This is a team that desperately needs takeaways on defense to win games, but Brett Favre wasn't cooperating on this afternoon.