Friday, April 18, 2014
The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings needed most of the game to figure out how to stop Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.
They finally walked off their home field a winner, too.
Adrian Peterson ran for 75 yards and two touchdowns, and the Vikings forced Griffin into three straight incompletions from the 4 in the final seconds to hold on for a 34-27 victory Thursday night.
Christian Ponder was 17 of 21 for 174 yards with two touchdowns and an interception before leaving late in the third quarter with an injured left shoulder. John Carlson had seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings (2-7).
Griffin was 24 of 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. The Redskins committed eight penalties for 63 yards.
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. Jordan Reed caught a 17-yard pass to the 8 and, after a short run by the Redskins, the Vikings inexplicably stopped the clock with a timeout of their own. Wide receiver Greg Jennings was livid on the sideline.
But Griffin’s next two passes were incomplete. 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 in bounds.
After losing three games this year in the final minute, the Vikings finally pulled one out.
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.
The Vikings were missing four starters to injury on defense, and they had no answer for Griffin or his big receivers in the first half. The Redskins scored on their first five possessions, further trampling a unit that has had a miserable season.
Garcon, Reed and backup tight end Logan Paulsen were the recipients of Griffin’s three touchdown tosses, drives that featured many a Redskins ball carrier, whether receiver or runner, breaking tackles and bowling over the Vikings who tried to bring them down. The Redskins converted seven of eight third downs in the first half and held the ball for more than two-thirds of the elapsed game time.
GIANTS: Running back David Wilson, a 2012 first-round draft pick, was placed on season-ending injured reserve, roughly a month after he was hurt against the Eagles.
Wilson sustained a herniated disk, and tests showed some narrowing of his spinal column. An examination Monday showed improvement in the herniation, but not enough to let him play.
FALCONS: Wide receiver Roddy White, who’s missed the last three games because of ankle and hamstring problems, is confident he’ll be back in the lineup against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
JETS: Running back Michael Goodson has been indicted on weapons charges stemming from a traffic stop last May in New Jersey.
Goodson sat out four games this season for violating the NFL’s drug policy and suffered a season-ending knee injury last month against Pittsburgh.
PACKERS: While quarterback Aaron Rodgers is sidelined, another Green Bay star looks as if he’ll be returning to the field Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Linebacker Clay Matthews, who missed the last four games, has been practicing on a limited basis this week with protection on his injured right thumb.
BILLS: Quarterback EJ Manuel took most of the snaps in practice for a second straight day, putting him on track to start Sunday against Pittsburgh (2-6).