Washington Redskins fall to Minnesota Vikings, 17-13, despite injury to Adrian Peterson

Brett Favre leads the Vikings past the Redskins at FedEx Field.
By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 29, 2010; 12:18 AM

Inside linebacker London Fletcher has a knack for summarizing things well, and his postgame analysis of the Washington Redskins' 17-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon seemed on point.

There are some challenges that cannot be overcome, Fletcher said. And after a major setback against the struggling Vikings, the Redskins likely must win their remaining five games to have any chance at qualifying for the postseason.

"The thing is, this game coming up against the [New York] Giants is a make-or-break game for the season," the team's defensive co-captain said. "We're either gonna be still keeping ourselves alive for the playoffs, or we're going to be playing for pride."

Some would contend that the Redskins (5-6) were not a viable playoff contender before Sunday's poor performance. But their goal definitely became more difficult to attain with the setback against a team considered one of the NFL's biggest disappointments in front of an announced crowd of 83,602 at FedEx Field.

Before the season, the Vikings (4-7) were focused on representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. Early last week, owner Ziggy Wilf fired coach Brad Childress and promoted defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who was a winner in his debut, to the interim position.

"Great win for our ballclub. Hopefully a sign of things to come," said Frazier, who embraced quarterback Brett Favre at the end of the game. "Just maintaining the right attitude all the way through, and coming away with a road win, something we've struggled to get done - a great job by our team."

Although the Vikings, who lost by three points in overtime in last season's NFC championship game, have appeared to be in disarray for weeks, they held the Redskins to only 216 total net yards - Washington's lowest total of the season. Minnesota extended its lead to 10 points, 17-7, late in the third quarter despite playing most of the game without injured Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson, who left early in the second quarter after his ankle was pinned under Lorenzo Alexander at the end of a run.

Redskins rookie linebacker Perry Riley committed a penalty that nullified a potential go-ahead touchdown on another long punt return by Brandon Banks midway through the fourth. On third and eight from Washington's 24-yard line with 2 minutes 25 seconds remaining in the game, Favre scrambled 10 yards for a first down and the Vikings ran out the clock.

Favre, who began the game with a league-leading 17 interceptions, did not commit a turnover. He also passed for 172 yards.

"Did I expect to run for a first down?" asked the 41-year-old future Hall of Famer. "I haven't expected to run for a first down for quite a while."

After failing on their home field against a struggling opponent, the Redskins have no margin for error in their final five games, players said.

"Yeah, man, it's gonna be hard, but we've just got to win now," said cornerback Carlos Rogers, who aggravated a hamstring injury in his return to the lineup after sitting out last week and injured his other hamstring. "We've got to continue to win and hope some of these other teams lose. . . . We've still got a chance . . . even though we're 5-6. We're gonna need some help, but we've still got a chance. You've just got to win now."

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