Saturday, December 24, 2011
Wrap-up: Vikings 33, Redskins 26
By Dan Graziano
A few thoughts on the Washington Redskins' disappointing 33-26 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in their final home game of the season:
What it means: The Redskins have lost at least 10 games for the third season in a row, and much of the good feeling that accompanied last week's victory over the New York Giants has to have ebbed a bit. This was a Vikings team whose star running back and rookie quarterback left the game with injuries, and the Redskins' defense was nonetheless powerless to stop backups Toby Gerhart and Joe Webb.
Credit where due: Jabar Gaffney had six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown to continue a very strong season that hasn't received much attention because of the circumstances in which he plays. If he's a Redskin next year, he'll be an asset to whoever they use at quarterback. He's up to 919 receiving yards for the season.
Another rookie runner: With Roy Helu hurting, Mike Shanahan gave the start at running back to Helu's fellow rookie, Evan Royster. And Royster did a lot to back up the notion that running backs are interchangeable in the Shanahan offense. He had 132 yards on 19 carries and gives the Redskins and their fans another thing to feel good about as they look ahead to what they might be able to piece together on offense next year if they can get a quarterback.
Something had to give: The battle of the interception streaks went to the Vikings, who picked off a Rex Grossman pass in the fourth quarter. That broke a streak of nine consecutive games in which the Vikings' defense had not intercepted a pass. And it extended Grossman's personal streak to 11 straight games with at least one interception. Grossman had a fine statistical game otherwise, completing 26-of-40 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns.
What's next: The Redskins will try to match last season's win total when they finish their season next Sunday afternoon against the Eagles in Philadelphia.