The Minnesota Vikings lost star running back Adrian Peterson and starting quarterback Christian Ponder all in the first series of the second half, but it didn’t matter as Joe Webb and Toby Gerhart took control of the Vikings offense and led them to a 33-26 win over the Washington Redskins and only their third win of the season.
Joe Webb had scoring drives of 75, 73, 72 and 19 yards in his first four series at the helm and Toby Gerhart had 109 yards on 11 carries picking up where Adrian Peterson left off. The Vikings scored 23 second half points without their starting quarterback and running back.
“I think it was just the opposite,” Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan said on how frustrating it is to lose a game while knocking Ponder and Peterson out of the game. I thought [Joe] Webb came in and did some things well with the football-the counter options and keeping the ball alive which wasn’t what they had been doing. He made some big time plays, made some big time throws and kept us off balance., It’s a credit to Webb and how he played in the second half.”
For the Redskins, Rex Grossman was 26 of 41 for 284 yards, two touchdowns, a fumble and an interception. He was also sacked three times on the day. Grossman has thrown a pick in 11 straight games and has a turnover in 17 straight games. The Redskins have turned it over in 29 straight games which is currently the longest streak in the NFL. The Vikings on the other hand had their first interception in their last ten games.
The Redskins ended up with 397 net yards, 141 on the ground and 256 in the air. They also were 3-10 on third downs, 2 of 4 in the red zone and held the ball for 30:26, but turning the ball over twice and not getting any turnovers hurt them badly.
Evan Royster had 19 carries for 132 yards filling in for Roy Helu who was inactive with a knee and toe injury. Royster and Helu both have 100 yard games this season and it’s the first time in Redskins history that they’ve had two rookies with a 100 yard rushing games in the same season. Royster also had two catches for 15 yards.
“I was pretty happy with how I played,” Royster said. “I think we did a great job up front, these guys have seemed to be playing really well and I’m comfortable. I think we played really well on offense, we just have to capitalize in the red zone.”
Ryan Torain had four carries for eight yards. Fullback Darrel Young had two receptions for 33 yards, but had two big penalties called on him, including a holding call that took away a 59 yard Brandon Banks reverse for touchdown run.
“A bad play, I cost the team the game,” Darrel Young said on the holding call. “I just have to overcome it and hopefully have another chance to do it.”
Jabar Gaffney continued his solid season with six receptions for 77 yards and a one handed touchdown catch and Donte Stallworth had five catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. Santana Moss had four catches for 46 yards and Terrence Austin had three catches for 39 yards.
Brandon Banks had a nice kickoff return of 43 yards that set up a Redskins touchdown, while Graham Gano had a real nice game going 4 for 4 including a 53 yarder and a 47 yarder.
Defensively the Redskins held the Vikings to 389 total yards, 241 yards on the ground and 148 passing yards. The Redskins had two sacks on the day, London Fletcher & Adam Carriker each got a 1/2 a sack while Perry Riley got a full sack. London Fletcher combined for 17 tackles, Reed Doughty had nine, Josh Wilson, OJ Atogwe and Brian Orakpo each with six while Perry Riley & Adam Carriker had five tackles.
The Redskins end up losing their last six at home for a 2-6 home record.
“I don’t know what to say,” Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said on the home record. “Your home field should be an advantage and we need to play better in the future.”
Veteran Santana Moss also chimed in on the home record.
“I have no answer for that; it’s just something you don’t want,” Moss said. “You need the home field advantage, you have to come home and that be the worst place you play all year, so I have no answer for it. I just hope we can do something about that.”
The Redskins are also 5-10 on the season and have lost at least ten games for the third season in a row. The Redskins head to Philadelphia to play the Eagles to end their 2011 campaign, the Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs today and also have nothing to play for.
Listen here to what Mike Shanahan, Rex Grossman, Evan Royster & Brian Orakpo had to say after the loss.
Mike Shanahan Postgame Audio
Rex Grossman Postgame Audio
Evan Royster Postgame Audio
Brian Orakpo Postgame Audio