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11/08/2013 1:07 AM EST
Ponder, Peterson help Vikings rally to beat Skins
MINNESOTA 34, WASHINGTON 27

By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Pro Football Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Vikings found a way to stop
Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins, showing late
resolve after a series of final-minute collapses.

Adrian Peterson ran for 75 yards and two touchdowns, and the
Vikings forced Griffin into three straight incompletions from
the 4 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.

"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.

But Griffin's next two passes were incomplete, for 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 in bounds.

"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."

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

"We can't let a team like that score that many points. It's
totally on us. We were sleepwalking at times," 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."

NOTES: 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 multi-sack 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.

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05/27/2015
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