Personal fouls set up Vikings for scoring drives

MINNEAPOLIS MN - NOVEMBER 7:  The Washington sidelines reacts to the final play where moss did not have possession  forthe tying score with a few seconds left in the game as  the Washington Redskins loose to the Minnesota Vikings  34 - 27 game in Minneapolis, Mn., November 7, 2013. ( Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The Redskins sideline reacts to the team’s final offensive play, a failed fourth-down pass from the Vikings’ 4-yard line. ( Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The Redskins committed three costly personal fouls to set up the Minnesota Vikings in more favorable positions on what wound up being scoring drives.

Minnesota scored touchdowns on each of those possessions and went on to win, 34-27.

“That’s unacceptable,” Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said. “You can’t do that. You have to keep your poise, and you make mistakes like that so often, it’ll cost you the game.

The first penalty – a roughing the passer call on defensive end Chris Baker – took place in the first quarter and led to the Vikings’ first touchdown. On first-and-10 from the Minnesota 49-yard line, Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder completed a 21-yard pass to tight end John Carlson. Baker hit Ponder shortly after he unleashed the pass, and knocked him to the ground. Officials flagged Baker for the hit, and an additional 15 yards were tacked onto the end of the completion. That put the ball on the Redskins’ 15-yard line, setting up Adrian Peterson’s first touchdown run.

Later, less than two minutes into the second quarter, Washington’s defense stopped Peterson on second and seven from the Redskins’ 8. But after the play, linebacker Perry Riley Jr. got up and shoved a Vikings player. That moved the ball from the 5 to the 2, and on the next play, Ponder completed a touchdown pass to Cordarrelle Patterson.

The third came in the third quarter when after a punt, fullback Darrel Young engaged in a scuffle and drew a 15-yard penalty that moved the ball from the Minnesota 44-yard line to Washington’s 41. The Vikings capitalized on the short field by going the remaining 41 yards in five plays and scored on a one-yard run by Peterson.

Asked what happened on the play, Young said, “I don’t even know. I guess it was just going back and forth, but I don’t know.”

Said linebacker Brian Orakpo: “This is an aggressive game, very physical game emotions can get the best of people, and then we also had penalties that were just football penalties. It hurts and it kills momentum and gives them second chances, so we have to do a better job of not doing that.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

● At 6:30 a.m., the details behind the mix-up on the punt with Sav Rocca and Niles Paul.

More on the NFL:

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Wise: If Griffin doesn’t get some help, he’s going to get hurt again

At 3-6, the Redskins are in a desperate but familiar place

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