2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things to know after Vikings rally past Redskins

By DAVE CAMPBELL - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-11-08 02:31

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Entering the critical third year of his career, Christian Ponder contributed to Minnesota's three straight losses to start the season.

Then he broke a rib. After sitting out a game to heal, he found himself on the bench for two more weeks. His return to the lineup didn't yield much, other than two more defeats for the Vikings. This game Thursday against the Washington Redskins wasn't going well, either.

So there was Ponder, sprinting toward the goal line late in the third quarter and sacrificing his body to dive for the pylon between two Redskins defenders. The original touchdown call was reversed by replay review, and Ponder walked off with a dislocated shoulder on his non-throwing left arm.

This story had a pleasant ending for the Vikings, though. Adrian Peterson scored on the next play to give them the lead for good after Matt Cassel relieved Ponder. The defense, reversing course after a rough first half, got Robert Griffin III to throw three straight incompletions from the 4 in the closing seconds to hang on for a 34-27 victory over the Redskins.

''Winning is a great feeling,'' Ponder said. ''We expect that to continue to happen. The year is far from over.''

Ponder went 17 for 21 for 174 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for the Vikings (2-7), whose only other win came in London over Pittsburgh. Wearing a sling afterward, he said he expects to be ready to play Nov. 17 at Seattle. Ponder was far from perfect, but the moxie he showed in this game gave the Vikings reason to want him back by then.

''When they see that tape and see that he extended his body the way he did, it's going to increase their appreciation for who he is as a person and what he means to our team as a quarterback,'' coach Leslie Frazier said.

Griffin was 24 for 37 for 281 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers, but the Redskins (3-6) blew a 27-14 lead they had early in the third quarter. Griffin 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.

This is the same record the Redskins had in 2012 before winning seven games in a row to earn the NFC East title, but their defense needs a major improvement for them to match last year's feat.

''We just need it all to come together, all to click for us, and the only way to do that is to keep pushing forward,'' Griffin said. ''What's a man to do when he goes to work every day and puts his all into it and sometimes comes up short? He still goes to work the next day, and we've got to do that.''

Here are five things we learned about the Redskins and Vikings on Thursday night:

INCREASINGLY INJURED: The Vikings played without seven of their original starters and only had enough healthy bodies to suit up 44 players, two short of the maximum, and Ponder added to the list. He said he felt better, though, after his shoulder was popped back into place, and he was in good spirits without noticeable discomfort during his postgame interview.

LACKING POISE: The Redskins were flagged eight times for 63 yards, including three for unnecessary roughness. Two of those fouls helped fuel first-half touchdown drives for Minnesota, and one in the third quarter on Darrel Young after a punt return gave the Vikings the ball at the Washington 41 to start their march for the go-ahead score.

CLOCK MANAGEMENT: Frazier called two timeouts after the 2-minute warning while the Redskins were out of them on the final drive. Several players, most demonstratively wide receiver Greg Jennings, were visibly upset after the second one with 38 seconds left. But Frazier didn't flinch in defending his decision afterward. He said the defense was tired, and he wanted some time left to score in case the Redskins tied the game.

WILL OF WILLIAMS: The Vikings also were raving afterward about the performance by Williams, their longtime defensive leader who had his first multi-sack performance since Oct. 18, 2009. Jared Allen had the other half-sack, and Everson Griffen had one by himself. The Vikings have 21 sacks this season.

LATE FADES: The Redskins led by 14 points midway through the third quarter at Denver before getting blown out on Oct. 27. They were ahead by 10 points late in the fourth quarter last Sunday before letting San Diego force overtime, only to escape with a win. This time, they wasted a 13-point edge and lost.

''We do have to find a way to put teams away, and that's the bottom line,'' Griffin said.

---

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

Dave Campbell on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jace AmaroNov 25 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (concussion) is in concussion protocol, according to head coach Rex Ryan, after suffering the concussion in Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills.

R. Griffin IIINov 25 04:23p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III was named the starter for Week 13 against the Indianapolis Colts Monday, Nov. 24, by head coach Jay Gruden, but he left open [ More ]

Michael BushNov 25 04:13p

The Arizona Cardinals signed free-agent RB Michael Bush (Bears) and cut RB Kerwynn Williams Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Brandon McManusNov 25 03:43p

The Denver Broncos waived PK Brandon McManus Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Connor BarthNov 25 03:43p

The Denver Broncos signed free-agent PK Connor Barth (Buccaneers) to an undisclosed deal Tuesday, Nov. 25, after waiving PK Brandon McManus, according to a source.

Reggie BushNov 25 03:13p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) said he'll be ready to play Thursday, Nov. 27, after missing Week 12 with an ankle injury.

Latavius MurrayNov 25 02:43p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) will undergo baseline testing for his concussion Tuesday, Nov. 25, according to a league source. He is feeling good, but he must go [ More ]

Brian HoyerNov 25 01:53p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer was never in danger of being benched in favor of QB Johnny Manziel in the team's Week 12 win over the Atlanta Falcons, according [ More ]

Blake BortlesNov 25 01:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles went 15-for-27 for just 146 yards and an interception in the team's Week 12 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and he hasn't tossed a [ More ]

Matthew StaffordNov 25 01:23p

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford had the worst completion percentage in his career in Week 12 against the New England Patriots at 39.1 percent), and the Lions haven't rushed [ More ]

Brodrick BunkleyNov 25 12:03p

New Orleans Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley (quadriceps) is believed to have torn his quadriceps in the team's Week 12 game Monday, Nov. 24, but he'll undergo an MRI exam [ More ]

Jordan CameronNov 25 11:53a

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) is expected to play in Week 13.

Michael VickNov 25 09:53a

New York Jets QB Michael Vick (calf) is expected to start in Week 13 if head coach Rex Ryan is still calling the shots and Vick's calf is healthy.

Andre SmithNov 25 09:23a

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andre Smith (triceps) will miss the rest of the year with a torn triceps that will require surgery.

Justin ForsettNov 25 12:13a

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett ran for 182 yards and two scores in a 34-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints Monday, Nov. 24.

Latavius MurrayNov 24 08:13p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) remains a question mark heading into Week 13 against the St. Louis Rams. Head coach Tony Sparano said Murray hasn't passed the league's [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 24 08:03p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is unsure when he will return from his knee injury, according to head coach Bruce Arians. We still don't know anything about Larry, [ More ]

Andre EllingtonNov 24 08:03p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington and WR Michael Floyd both saw the fewest offensive snaps of the season in the Week 12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Ellington played [ More ]

Jorvorskie LaneNov 24 06:43p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed FB Jorvorskie Lane (ankle) on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Nov. 24.

Chris JohnsonNov 24 05:53p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson will receive work on third downs, because RB Bilal Powell (illness) has been declared inactive for Week 12.

Fred JacksonNov 24 05:43p

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson (groin) is active for the team's Week 12 game.

Bilal PowellNov 24 05:43p

The New York Jets have declared RB Bilal Powell, OL Dakota Dozier, DE IK Enemkpali, CB Josh Thomas, QB Matt Simms, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 12.

Cyrus KouandjioNov 24 05:33p

The Buffalo Bills have declared DE Bryan Johnson, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, FB Frank Summers, DL Jarius Wynn, TE MarQueis Gray, WR Marquise Goodwin, LB Randell Johnson inactive for Week 12.

Eric BerryNov 24 05:13p

The Kansas City Chiefs placed SS Eric Berry (illness) on the Non-Football Illness list Monday, Nov. 24, according to a source. Berry will miss the rest of the season.

Eric BerryNov 24 05:13p

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (illness) underwent an MRI on his chest, which revealed a mass in his chest. The team believes he has lymphoma, but there is no definite diagnosis.

R. Griffin IIINov 24 03:33p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will start Sunday, Nov. 30, against the Indianapolis Colts, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Jay FeelyNov 24 03:33p

Free-agent PK Jay Feely (Cardinals) will visit the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Nov. 25, for a kicking audition, according to sources.

Vernon DavisNov 24 01:53p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had three catches for just 21 yards in the team's Week 12 win over the Washington Redskins, and that came after he had [ More ]

Ryan MallettNov 24 01:13p

Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett (pectoral) is expected to miss the rest of the season because of the pectoral injury he suffered in Week 12.

Tony RomoNov 24 12:43p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) went 18-for-26 for 275 yards and four touchdowns in Week 12 against the New York Giants, and he didn't show any signs of [ More ]

Shane VereenNov 24 12:33p

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen had a team-high 62 snaps in the team's Week 12 win over the Detroit Lions, but RB LeGarrette Blount had 17 snaps and [ More ]

C.J. AndersonNov 24 12:23p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson rushed 27 times for 167 yards and a touchdown in the team's Week 12 win over the Miami Dolphins, and it was the most [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group