8:25 PM ET, November 7, 2013
Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, MN
Adrian Peterson, Vikings beat Redskins; Christian Ponder injured
Adrian Peterson ran for 75 yards and two touchdowns, and the Vikings forced Griffin into three straight incompletions from the 4-yard line to hold on for a 34-27 victory Thursday night.
After losing three games this year in the final minute, the Vikings finally pulled one out.
More Redskins-Vikings Coverage
Christian Ponder regained control of the Vikings' QB job with his performance Thursday, but a shoulder injury could loosen his grip, Ben Goessling writes. Blog
After falling short against Minnesota, the Redskins don't look capable of the kind of surge that landed them in the 2012 playoffs, John Keim writes. Blog
• Radio: Ron Jaworski weighs in
"There were many times during the course of that game where they could've gone, 'Oh, no, here we go again,'" coach Leslie Frazier said.
Christian Ponder went 17-for-21 for 174 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for Minnesota before leaving late in the third quarter with a dislocated shoulder on his non-throwing left arm. John Carlson had seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown, and rookie Cordarrelle Patterson also had a scoring reception for the Vikings (2-7).
"We just played the way we were supposed to," Ponder said. "We executed like an NFL team is supposed to, especially a 10-6 playoff team like we were last year. We really needed that, to help out with our confidence, and now that's our expectation for the rest of the year."
Griffin was 24-for-37 for 281 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers for the Redskins (3-6), who led 27-14 early in the third quarter. He also ran seven times for 44 yards, but the Vikings took him down for four sacks for 39 yards in the second half, including 2 1/2 by Kevin Williams.
The Redskins committed eight penalties for 63 yards.
"You can't do that," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "You've got to keep your poise. You make mistakes like that and so often it will cost you the game."
With the Redskins out of timeouts, Griffin ran for 12 yards on fourth-and-1 at his own 49 right after the 2-minute warning. After a run to the 4, the Vikings stopped the clock. Wide receiver Greg Jennings was livid on the sideline, but Frazier defended the timeout to give the drained defense a rest and allow at least a few seconds for a comeback in case the Redskins scored.
All Day's Record Pace
Adrian Peterson now ranks fifth all-time in rushing yards through the first seven seasons of an NFL career. Peterson passed Walter Payton on the list Thursday night with 75 yards against Washington.
Most Rushing Yards
First 7 NFL Seasons
|*Includes 75 yards Thursday vs. Redskins|
-- ESPN Stats & Information
But Griffin's next two passes were incomplete, to Jordan Reed and Pierre Garcon. On fourth-and-goal with 32 seconds left, his throw to the corner of the end zone was caught by Santana Moss with only one foot inbounds.
"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."
The Vikings didn't.
"That was an awesome feeling," Peterson said, adding: "Through the adversity we've been through, guys just continued to fight."
Blair Walsh kicked two fourth-quarter field goals for the Vikings after Peterson's second score gave them a 28-27 lead late in the third quarter.
That drive started at the Washington 41, thanks to an unnecessary roughness call. Ponder scrambled and slung a third-and-12 laser to Jarius Wright for a first down at the sideline, and later said Wright was so wide open he laughed as he threw the ball. Then, Ponder took off for the 14-yard run that knocked him out of the game, and an official replay reversed the touchdown call after he dived at the pylon and rolled out of bounds.
"Nothing seems to faze him," Carlson said, adding: "He showed a lot of heart."
Ponder said he plans to be ready for the team's next game in 10 days against the Seattle Seahawks.
"My expectations are, I'm going to be back next week," Ponder said. "We've got a great athletic training staff. They're going to do me right. I'm going to do everything I can to be back next Sunday."
Matt Cassel came in, and Peterson scored to give the Vikings the lead on the next play.
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"We can't let a team like that score that many points. It's totally on us. We were sleepwalking at times," Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo said.
The Redskins scored on their first five possessions with broken tackle after broken tackle. They converted seven of eight third downs in the first half and held the ball for more than two-thirds of the elapsed game time.
That all changed after the break.
"You always want to be able to rush the passer with the game on the line," Williams said. "It was nice to finish it this time."
Carlson scored for the first time since 2010. In his first 1 1/2 seasons with the Vikings, he had a total of 19 catches for 104 yards. ... Alfred Morris ran 26 times for 139 yards for the Redskins, who outgained the Vikings 433-307 in total yards. ... Williams had his first multisack game for the Vikings since Oct. 18, 2009. ... Garcon had his second straight 100-yard receiving game and has 803 yards this season. Garcon, Reed and Logan Paulsen had TD catches.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 7: Native Americans protest before the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins game...(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.6||5.9|
Comp - Att
Yards per pass
Sacks - Yards Lost
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||3-5||3-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
|FG||08:16||Kai Forbath 20 Yd||3||0|
|TD||05:10||Adrian Peterson 18 Yd Run (Blair Walsh Kick)||3||7|
|TD||01:17||Pierre Garcon 8 Yd Pass From Robert Griffin (Kai Forbath Kick)||10||7|
|TD||12:59||Cordarrelle Patterson 2 Yd Pass From Christian Ponder (Blair Walsh Kick)||10||14|
|TD||05:02||Jordan Reed 11 Yd Pass From Robert Griffin (Kai Forbath Kick)||17||14|
|TD||00:10||Logan Paulsen 1 Yd Pass From Robert Griffin (Kai Forbath Kick)||24||14|
|FG||09:22||Kai Forbath 40 Yd||27||14|
|TD||04:32||John Carlson 28 Yd Pass From Christian Ponder (Blair Walsh Kick)||27||21|
|TD||00:57||Adrian Peterson 1 Yd Run (Blair Walsh Kick)||27||28|
|FG||09:54||Blair Walsh 39 Yd||27||31|
|FG||03:36||Blair Walsh 40 Yd||27||34|
Adrian Peterson totaled 67 of his 75 rushing yards between the tackles Thursday night. Peterson leads the league with eight rushing touchdowns between the tackles this season, including one Thursday. Since 2012, Peterson has been held to less than 55 rushing yards between the tackles only once (Week 7 2012 against the Giants).[+]
Adrian Peterson Rushing, Thursday
In the first half, Griffin completed 6-of-7 third-down passes, including 2 touchdowns. In the second half, Griffin completed 2-of-5 third-down passes and was sacked twice.
Robert Griffin III completed 8-of-10 passes for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns against 5 or more pass rushers in the first half. In the second half, RGIII was 1-of-4 for 2 yards and no touchdowns against added pressure, including 2 sacks.[+]
Robert Griffin III Passing vs 5+ Pass Rushers, Thursday
Peterson recorded his first rushing touchdown outside the tackles Thursday, after his first eight of the season came between the tackles.
Adrian Peterson's 75 rushing yards are the fewest in a Vikings win since Week 16 2011, also against the Redskins.
- After the Redskins took a 27-14 lead with 9:27 remaining in the third quarter, Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel combined to complete 11-of-14 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown, including 6-of-6 for 69 yards and a touchdown on play action. - Robert Griffin was 6-9 for 62 yards and a touchdown when targeting Jordan Reed Thursday. For the season, Griffin is completing 75.9 percent of his passes when targeting Reed, the fifth-highest reception percentage of any wide receiver or tight end in the NFL (min. 40 targets). - Pierre Garcon caught seven passes for 119 yards on Thursday, with 83 of those yards coming after the catch. Garcon leads the league with 402 yards after the catch this season. Garcon's 83 yards after catch are the most he has had in a game since Week 1 of 2012 against the Saints. - The Redskins converted 9-of-11 third downs in the first half, but failed to convert a third down in the second half (0-of-5). Entering Thursday, the Vikings allowed opponents to convert 49 percent of third-down attempts, the highest rate in the league. - Adrian Peterson has yet to rush for 100 yards in consecutive games this season. Peterson ran for at least 100 yards in seven consecutive games last season.
Peterson totaled 63 yards on 12 carries (5.3 yards per carry) with at least 8 defenders in the box, including both touchdowns. Peterson leads the league with a 5.9 yards per carry average with at least 8 defenders in the box.[+]
Alfred Morris ran for 73 yards after contact Thursday, the most in a game in his career and the fourth most for any running back in a game this season. Morris has averaged 2.2 yards after contact per rush, the fifth highest among qualified running backs. - In the first half, Morris had six zone-read carries for 33 yards (5.5 yards per carry). In the second half, Morris did not receive a zone-read carry.
Adrian Peterson has averaged 6.1 yards per rush when defenses put eight or more defenders in the box this season. The rest of the NFL has averaged 2.8 yards per rush against those defenses.[+]
All eight of Adrian Peterson's rushing touchdowns have come between the tackles this season. Those eight touchdowns between the tackles are two more than any other player this season.
Four of Christian Ponder's five passing touchdowns this season have come off of play action.
Adrian Peterson's league-leading ninth rushing touchdown this season, and his first outside the tackles.
The Redskins converted 7-of-8 third downs in the first half. Entering tonight, the Vikings allowed opponents to convert 49 percent of third downs, the highest rate in the league.
ESPN Stats & Information
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