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Vikings hold on to edge Redskins

November 8, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota forced Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III into three straight incompletions from the 4-yard line in the final seconds to hold on for a 34-27 victory on Thursday.

Griffin completed 24 of 37 passes for 281 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers for the Redskins, 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.

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 surprisingly stopped the clock with a timeout of their own.

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 and that was game over.

Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder went 17 for 21 for 174 yards with two touchdowns and an interception before leaving late in the third quarter with an injured left shoulder. His replacement John Carlson had seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings, who won only their second game of the season.

After losing three games this year in the final minute, they finally pulled one out.

Blair Walsh kicked two fourth-quarter field goals for the Vikings after Adrian 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 during the punt return. Ponder scrambled and slung a third-and-12 pass to Jarius Wright for a first down. Then, Ponder took off for a 14-yard run that left him with an injured left shoulder, and an official replay reversed the touchdown call after he dived at the pylon and rolled out of bounds.

Matt Cassel came in, and Peterson scored to give the Vikings the lead on the next play.

The Redskins missed another chance to take a hold on the NFC East.

Dallas and Philadelphia are barely ahead of them, and each has shown significant flaws. They’re going to have to tighten up this defense, though, if they’re going to keep this a true division race with the Cowboys and Eagles. The three teams entered this week with the three highest averages of yards allowed per game in the league, and the Redskins were being scored against at a greater rate than any other squad except the winless Jacksonville Jaguars.

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