Keys to victory: Vikings 34, Redskins 27

November, 8, 2013
11/08/13
12:28
AM ET
What were the keys to the 34-27 win by the Minnesota Vikings over the Washington Redskins on Thursday night?

The pass, not the run
The Vikings rallied from a 27-14 deficit with 9:22 left in the third quarter on the arms of Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel rather than the legs of Adrian Peterson.

Ponder and Cassel were a combined 11-for-14 for 136 yards and a touchdown after the Vikings got down by 13 points.

But Peterson did play a role in the comeback. Faking to him via the play-action pass was the key: The pair of maligned quarterbacks went 6-for-6 for 69 yards and a touchdown on play-action in that span.

Peterson finished with 75 rushing yards, the fewest in a Vikings' win since Week 16 of the 2011 season, also against the Redskins.

Peterson does have 9,635 career rushing yards. He passed Walter Payton for fifth-most by a running back within the first seven seasons of his career. The record of 10,560 is held by LaDainian Tomlinson.

Vikings defense comes up big
The Redskins' offense looked dominant in the first half, but wilted late.

Robert Griffin III completed 8 of 10 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns against five or more pass rushers in the first half, but was 1-for-4 for only two yards and was sacked twice against that pressure in the second half.

Kevin Williams had his first 2.5 sacks of the season, all in the second half. It was his most sacks in a game since Week 6 of the 2008 season against the Lions, when he had four against the Lions.

The Redskins went 9-for-11 on third down in the first half, but went 0-for-5 on third downs in the final 30 minutes.

Stat of the day: Ponder was Favre-like
Ponder finished 17-for-21, leaving with a shoulder injury. Ponder's 81 percent completion percentage was the fifth-best ever by a Vikings quarterback with at least 20 pass attempts. The last one better was Brett Favre went 22-for-25 (88 percent) in a win over the Seattle Seahawks in 2009.

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