Week 6: Redskins (2-3) vs. Vikings (4-1)

October 14, 2012

Join the Washington Redskins live blog for the second half, where we’re breaking down Robert Griffin III’s performance and the solid showing from the Redskins defense, which has kept running back Adrian Peterson and wide receiver Percy Harvin in check most of the game. Boxscore

[liveblog]

 

Week 6, Vikings-Redskins: A FedEx losing streak ends


Robert Griffin III takes the tape off his chin after the game. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

Now, that the cosmic sports gods have given a Redskins victory to DC sports fans after so cruelly having handed them the Nationals’ loss Friday night, things get interesting next week. The Redskins, after today’s 38-26 win over the Minnesota Vikings, will prepare to go to MetLife Stadium to play the New York Giants, who went to the West Coast and trounced the San Francisco 49ers. (If anyone tells you he or she saw that 26-3 final coming, he or she is not telling the truth.) Next week, it gets real.

Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you on the live blog next week.

 

 

RGIII jokes “I thought about going out of bounds” on TD run

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III:

On his 76-yard TD scamper/sprint (scrint?): “I got to the sideline and thought about going out of bounds because everyone has been telling me that lately. [Laughter] You know in certain situations and I felt like I had the guy outflanked and I just took off running. The rest is history. I got to enjoy the moment a little bit. It was pretty fun to hear the crowd and see my teammates on the sideline celebrating as I ran for the touchdown.”

On changing his approach after suffering the concussion: “You stay aggressive, but you just try to be smart. I felt like I got out of bounds a couple of times when I should have, I threw the ball away one time and got a penalty because the guy came and hit me. You try to play smart, but stay aggressive. One time I ran up the middle and the safety was coming down and I slid for seven yards, so you’ve got to live with that and not worry about the eight or nine yards you could have got taking a hit. I told the team I wasn’t going to leave them hanging.” 

On drawing a roughing-the-passer call: “He hit me good. [Everyone, everyone laughs.] Come on, man. It wasn’t like a basketball flop, but I definitely … I sold it pretty well. I mean, the ball was clearly gone, guys, so … [laugh] It was a great job of me and the ref being on the same page.”

On the FedEx Leap (FLeap?): RGIII was worried he’d get a flag for being held up in the stands for so long. “Fans. Gotta love ‘em.”

On the FedEx losing streak: “To lose eight straight at home is unacceptable for any kind of sport. We made that a point of emphasis this week, to come out and protect our home turf, or grass. Even though I wasn’t here for that whole time, I’m still a part of this organization and I take on those burdens along with the other guys. We made that a point. Hopefully we can start a home winning streak or a winning streak period.”

Fred Davis on RGIII

Tight end Fred Davis, on the play of Robert Griffin III, in a Comcast interview:

“Really can’t say much more. Like I said, he’s black Jesus right now, [he] saved us today. He’s a great player. He makes plays. He did what he had to do on that third down. We were talking about [him] protecting himself a lot more [after the concussion last Sunday], but he seen the opening and made a play. What can you say? He’s a great player.”

Shanahan on RGIII, ending the home losing streak

A game relatively free of injury and controversy…a win that ends a home losing streak…a nice touchdown run by Robert Griffin III…this may be one of the most pleasant postgame pressers Mike Shanahan has had in D.C.

On whether RGIII played differently after last week’s concussion:

“You can’t do that as a quarterback. You’ve got to go play. I think common sense prevails. I think he’ll learn every game when to slide, when to throw the ball away, when to go out of bounds a little bit earlier. I thought I saw that today in a number of situations. As time goes on, he’ll keep on getting better and better at keeping people away from him.”

 On how much the team emphasized ending the home losing streak:

“I’ve never even talked about that. You focus on getting the job done, having good practices, doing the little things the right way and trying to finish a game. And that’s what we’ve been focusin’ on. We don’t talk about those things. We talk about the things we do poorly and what separates the good teams from the average teams.”

On the defense holding the Vikings to field goals early in the game:

“I thought the way they played early was very impressive, keeping them out of the end zone. First couple of drives we couldn’t get anything going. They did a great job, had a great game plan coming in, with a couple corner blitzes [that] kind of kept us off guard a little bit. I was proud of our guys. We kept our composure. We came back and executed and did some adjustments that you’ve gotta make during the game. I was pleased with the players and the coaches. … You’ve got to go through some adversity at times and you’ve got to keep your composure. I thought we did that ’cause instead of nine points, it could have been 21 points. And all of a sudden it’s pretty hard to catch up.”

More on RGIII’s run:

“It was third down and he was looking to the left and we had both outside receivers on out routes about 10-12 yards [out]. When he looked over at Josh, he saw a lane open up and he was very smart, very aware that that was a six-man rush. If they don’t get Robert right away, he’s into the secondary and for sure he’s got a first down. Not too many quarterbacks can outrun those defensive backs. That was a heck of a play. You don’t see that very often.”

Redskins beat Vikings, 38-26, to end home losing streak

The Washington Redskins beat the Minnesota Vikings, 38-26, behind three touchdowns from quarterback Robert Griffin III, including a 76-yard run on third down late in the fourth quarter that all but seal the win and ended the team’s eight-game home losing streak. Griffin finished with 182 passing yards and 138 rushing as the Redskins even their record at 3-3.

Robert Griffin III dazzles with touchdown run

Robert Griffin III put on the jets for a 76-yard touchdown run with 2:43 to play in the fourth quarter to give the Redskins a 38-26 lead. Griffin’s touchdown run was the longest for a quarterback since Kordell Stewart


Robert Griffin III outstanding performance included a 76-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to give the Redskins a 38-26 lead. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

‘s 80-yard in 1996.

Vikings cut lead to 31-26

The Vikings got a one-yard touchdown pass from Christian Ponder to tight end Kyle Rudolph to get within five, but the two-point conversion try failed. On the conversion throw from Ponder, Rudolph appeared to be held by linebacker Perry Riley on the goal line, but officials didn’t call a penalty.

Vikings draw within 31-20

The Vikings moved 80 yards in 10 plays capped by quarterback Christian Ponder’s nine-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Jenkins. Ponder then completed the two-point conversion throw to tight end Kyle Rudolph in the back of the end zone to draw Minnesota within one possession, 31-20, with 8:02 to play.

Christian Ponder way off today

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has missed badly on several passes today, including a throw that sailed well over his intended target and landed in the arms of Redskins safety Madieu Williams in the fourth quarter. Ponder is 17 of 26 for 189 yards through nearly three and a half quarters.

Madieu Williams extends Redskins’ lead to 31-12


Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder loses the football amid heavy Redskins pass rush. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Safety Madieu Williams intercepted quarterback Christian Ponder’s pass at the Vikings 24-yard line and returned it all the way for a touchdown that extended the Redskins lead to 31-12. Williams dove for the interception, got up and ran around the right side of the field before leaping and reaching the ball across the goal line before being knocked out of bounds.

And now a few words about the Redskins’ special teams

From the comments (aka Hamsterville), since every single week Danny Smith is a lightning rod for bolts of criticism…

NosferatusCoffin: Great punt and coverage. But of course, the Fire Danny Smith Crowd will never be satisfied.

TDawg1: What’d you say? I was too busy writing up a “Fire Danny Smith” sign out of goat’s blood.

Excellent punt execution from Redskins

Backup tight end Niles Paul caught Sav Rocca’s punt at the Vikings 3-yard line, giving the Redskins an opportunity to get the ball back in good field position. Look for the Vikings to give the ball to Adrian Peterson to get out of the shadow of their end zone and at worst give punter Chris Kluwe some room.

At least he didn’t call him “Bob.”

Sports announcing is a hard gig. I know it, you know it. But Dick Stockton, in what has been a fairly sloppy game (confusing intentional grounding and roughing the passer) for those charged with verbally describing it, just called the Redskins quarterback “Robert Griffin Jr.” At some point, I know the Redskins will get the top announcing teams. I just know it.

Vikings get field goal to trim lead to 24-12

Blair Walsh’s fourth field goal draws the Vikings to 24-12 with 4:18 to play in the third quarter. The Redskins forced the field goal attempt after linebacker Lorenzo Alexander pressured quarterback Christian Ponder, who overthrew wide receiver Percy Harvin in the end zone.

RGIII, by any name, scores

Robert Griffin III takes it in himelf for a touchdown and a 24-9 lead, the crowd chants “RGIII” and John Lynch calls him “RJIII.” After this TD run, Griffin didn’t do the little dancey-thing he did after passing for a TD earlier.

Redskins take advantage of Vikings penalties for 24-9 lead


Alfred Morris helps Redskins build 24-9 lead with touchdown in second quarter. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Robert Griffin III scores on a seven-yard touchdown run to give the Redskins a 24-9 lead with 9:37 to play in the third quarter. The Vikings had committed penalties on consecutive plays during the drive, including a horse-collar tackle on Griffin that set up the rookie’s fifth touchdown run this season.

Second quarter takeaway: Offense gets going

After struggling to stay on the field in the first quarter, the Redskins’ offense started clicking in the second quarter.

A 50-yard field goal by Kai Forbath (the first of his career) kicked off a 17-0 scoring spree for Washington.

Much like the Redskins’ game against Cincinnati in Week 3, the triple-option attack worked well for Washington.

The Redskins lined up in that triple-option formation with Griffin, Morris and Banks in the backfield often, but passed out of that formation three times, catching the Vikings off-guard. Going 90 yards in 11 plays during a six-minute, 36-second span, the Redskins found the end zone on a 1-yard Alfred Morris touchdown. That tied the team’s longest scoring drive of the season.

The Redskins outgained the Vikings 116-9 in that quarter.

Another element that featured improvement was the pass-rushing department. After struggling in the last three weeks, Washington finally got pressure out of its front seven, sacking Christian Ponder twice.

Lorenzo Alexander and Stephen Bowen split one of the sacks, and Alexander came up with a turnover deep in Vikings territory, recovering a Ponder fumble at the 6. Griffin then passed to Darrel Young on the following play, and Forbath made the ensuing kick to give Washington a 17-9 lead.

Lorenzo Alexander play ruled a fumble recovery

Clarification on the Lorenzo Alexander play, which has been ruled a fumble recovery and not an interception:

In case you hadn’t noticed, he’s having a monster game:

Redskins force turnover, take 17-9 lead


Robert Griffin III has Redskins leading the Vikings, 17-9. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Robert Griffin III completes a six-yard touchdown pass to fullback Darrel Young with 2:20 to play in the first half after the Redskins forced a turnover on play earlier. Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was dropping back to pass and lost the ball, and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander picked it off to give the Redskins an interception in their seventh straight game.

Redskins take lead, 10-9

Rookie running back Alfred Morris capped a 90-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run with 2:31 left until halftime. It was the fifth touchdown for Morris this season and only the second touchdown run the Vikings have allowed.

Robert Griffin III running smart


Robert Griffin III rolls out to throw against the Vikings. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Robert Griffin III has run three times in the first half, and each time he’s avoided getting hit by either going out of bounds or sliding. Griffin has 19 rushing yards and doesn’t appear to be showing any lingering effects from the concussion he suffered last week against the Atlanta Falcons.

Redskins cut lead to 9-3

Place kicker Kai Forbath, signed just this week, made the first kick of his NFL career from 50 yards to give the Redskins their first points and trim the deficit to 9-3 with 10:56 to play until halftime. Forbath’s kick sneaked inside the right upright to complete a 13-play drive covering 48 yards.

First quarter takeaway: Defense giving up yards, but holding in red zone

The Washington Redskins are fortunate to only trail 9-0 after one quarter. The defense gave up 148 yards to the Vikings, who ran and passed at will. The Vikings reached Washington’s red zone three times, but failed to convert third downs there and had to settle for three field goals.

Adrian Peterson looks just fine, playing at FedEx Field 10 months after his season ended with a torn ACL here. He has 47 yards on seven carries, with a long of 32. A lot of missed tackles by the Redskins early on.

Meanwhile, the offense got off to a slow start with back-to-back carries for losses by Alfred Morris on the first possession, and an interception by Robert Griffin III on the third.

Griffin was rolling out to his right and tried to force a sideline pass in to Josh Morgan. But Antoine Winfield had the receiver blanketed and made a diving catch. That was Griffin’s second interception of the season.

Blair Walsh’s third field goal gives Vikings 9-0 lead

Blair Walsh’s second straight 27-yard field goal gives the Vikings a 9-0 lead with 1:51 left in the first quarter. The Vikings have driven inside the Redskins 20-yard line in each of their first three possessions but have had to settle for a field goal each time.

Vikings add another field goal for 6-0 lead

The Minnesota Vikings got a 27-yard field goal from Blair Walsh with 7:02 to play in the first quarter to take a 6-0 lead. The Vikings were facing third and 12 and threw a screen pass to running back Adrian Peterson, who eluded several tacklers before linebacker Keenan Robinson made the tackle to force the field goal try.

Vikings take early lead, 3-0


Redskins owner Dan Snyder looks into the crowd before kickoff. (Ray K. Saunders/The Washington Post)

The Vikings marched down the field on the first possession of the game and reached the 2-yard line before Blair Walsh kicked a 20-yard field goal with 11 minutes 31 seconds left in the first quarter. Running back Adrian Peterson looked like his old self, rolling through the defense and gaining 32 yards on one carry in which he broke tackles at the line of scrimmage and ran over cornerback DeAngelo Hall.

Plus, that AP guy.

Redskins likely to be fined

Our Mark Maske reports the Redskins probably will be fined for how they disseminated information regarding Robert Griffin III’s concussion last week in a 24-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Read more here.

Fantasy focus: Redskins vs. Vikings

Robert Griffin III appears on track to start against Minnesota, but he has just a so-so matchup. The Vikings are 19th in fantasy points allowed (20.0) to quarterbacks, so if you’re starting Griffin, temper expectations, especially since he’s coming off an concussion. Alfred Morris remains a RB1, and TE Fred Davis is a low-end TE1 at this point. For the Vikings, Percy Harvin is a must-start WR1, as is Adrian Peterson as a RB1, although you might want to lower expectations for him as well because of a sore ankle.

Vikings’ Percy Harvin rolling

The Redskins will have their work cut out for them trying to stop wide receiver Percy Harvin, who has two 100-yard receiving games this season and two weeks ago returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown. Harvin is one of the most elusive players in the league, and he’s a threat to score anytime he touches the ball. The Vikings will line him up on the outside and in the slot as they try to get him the ball often, even on handoffs. Harvin has had at least one carry in each of the Vikings’ games this season.

Gene Wang is a sports reporter covering multiple beats, including Navy football, the Capitals, Wizards, Nationals, women’s basketball, auto racing, boxing and golf. He also covers Fantasy Football.
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Mike Jones · October 14, 2012