The Washington Redskins finally got the monkey off their backs at home, after 8 straight losses at home, the Redskins used a strong defensive outing and strong play from their rookie quarterback to beat the Minnesota Vikings 38-26. The win was a strong combination of effective offensive game planning by Kyle Shanahan and the fact that the defense stepped up in key situations.
The announcers in the game talked from the onset about the fact that Jim Haslett had spoke about his defense needing three key turnovers to get the victory against the Vikings. Ask and you shall receive, Madieu Williams had an interception he returned for a touchdown, Lorenzo Alexander was able to recover a fumble by Christian Ponder on a sack, and DeAngelo Hall intercepted Ponder as well in the last seconds of the game.
The game looked like it was playing well into the Vikings hand early on as they jumped out to a 9-0 lead behind three field goals by Blair Walsh. From that point the Redskins proceeded to score 24 answered points to take control.
Alfred Morris rushed 16 times for 47 yards and a touchdown but wasn’t much of a factor as RG3 was the main focal point on offense. New kicker Kai Forbath was successful on his first and only kick of the day, a 50 yarder, which was also his first NFL kick.
Robert Griffin III had one of his best games in his short career, he was 17-22, for 182 yards, 1 touchdown and one interception and rushed the ball 13 times for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns, the last one was a 76 yarder (video below). Griffin showed no bad signs from his “mild” concussion of a week ago, after his long TD run the crowd at FedEx Field all chanted…RG3…RG3…RG3!!!
The win improved the Redskins to 3-3 on the year and dropped the Vikings to 4-2.
Hail to the Redskins!
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The Washington Redskins will face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at FedEx Field as Washington tries to break it’s current home losing streak, which stands at 8 (a number which stretches back to week two of the 2011 season). This game is a must-win for the Redskins with them heading to New York to take on the Giants next week and Pittsburgh the following week after.
- Robert Griffin III - Easily the biggest story-line of them all, Griffin still has yet to be cleared to play this weekend but all signs point to him making a comeback this week from last week’s “mild” concussion. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has already said that the game-plan will stay the same no matter if RGIII plays or not. Griffin’s play making ability is hard to match, so obviously the chances of winning are greater if he is the signal caller who is under center on Sunday.
- New Kicker, hopefully better results – Earlier this week Redskins place kicker Billy Cundiff was released and Kai Forbath was signed to replace him. Forbath, a former Lou Groza award winner from UCLA, has never kicked a field goal in an NFL game but was 5-5 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in preseason this year. In the last few weeks the kicking game, or lack there of, has taken the wind out of the offense on more than one occasion and has hurt the time as far as momentum has been concerned. The Redskins are hoping Forbath can at least be an answer in short range after Cundiff proved inept in that department.
- Containing Percy Harvin – With the Redskins secondary being the weak-link of the unit this year, seeing Harvin lined up across the line should be something that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett worried. Harvin has 38 catches on the season for a total of 407 yards and a touchdown, thing is, Harvin has gotten 77.6 % of his yards after the catch, which is amazing. Washington will need to find an answer to Harvin early or look for a long day on defense.
- Pressure on the QB – Minesota finds itself near the top of the league in this department and the Redskins offensive line will need to pay extra attention to defensive end Jared Allen if they want to control the tempo of this game. The Redskins have found themselves in un-familiar territory this year as Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker both went down early on this year. Second year linebacker Ryan Kerrigan has shined and will need to get to Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder early and often. The defensive unit needs one or more people to step up and give Kerrigan some help if the Redskins are to get any better this year, keep an eye on Barry Cofield and Jarvis Jenkins in this one.
- Control the clock – For Minnesota this game will mark the first time Adrian Peterson has returned to FedEx Field since a season ending knee injury last year, Peterson’s performance will dictate whatever the Vikings do on offense. For the Redskins they will need to get rookie Alfred Morris going early and make the game as simple as possible for Robert Griffin III to be able to manage without mistakes or injuries. Morris will try to become the first running back in NFL history to rush for 75 or more yards in his first six games, he is tied with Eric Dickerson currently with 5.
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