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

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

Kai ForbathApr 15 10:53p

Washington Redskins restricted free-agent PK Kai Forbath posted on social media Wednesday, April 15, that he has re-signed with the team. The club has not yet confirmed the signing.

George JohnsonApr 15 08:33a

Detroit Lions DE George Johnson was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, April 15. Tampa signed Johnson to an offer sheet that was disputed by Detroit, but the [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 15 12:13a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is under contract for one more season, and he has expressed a desire to play out his deal. However, the Chargers might be [ More ]

Josh GordyApr 14 06:03p

Free-agent CB Josh Gordy (Colts) signed a veteran minimum deal with the New York Giants Tuesday, April 14, according to a source.

Ricardo LocketteApr 14 05:23p

Seattle Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette signed his exclusive-rights tender Tuesday, April 14.

Ike TaylorApr 14 09:32a

Free-agent CB Ike Taylor (Steelers) announced his retirement Tuesday, April 14.

Wade SmithApr 14 02:12a

Free-agent OG Wade Smith (Eagles) announced his retirement after 12 years in the National Football League.

Michael CrabtreeApr 14 01:13a

The Oakland Raiders are giving free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) a one-year, $3 million deal with another $2 million in incentives, a source said Monday, April 13.

Eben BrittonApr 14 01:03a

Free-agent OT Eben Britton (Bears) has been suspended four games by the NFL for an unspecified violation.

Matt ForteApr 13 08:02p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte was not present for the start of the offseason workouts Monday, April 13, according to sources. Forte is entering the final year of his [ More ]

Cody LatimerApr 13 08:02p

Denver Broncos WR Cody Latimer, who is expected to line up across from WR Demaryius Thomas in 2015, has been praised by WR Emmanuel Sanders, who figures to move [ More ]

Joe MaysApr 13 04:32p

Free-agent LB Joe Mays (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Monday, April 13.

Zackary BowmanApr 13 02:22p

Free-agent CB Zack Bowman (Giants) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Monday, April 13.

Sean RichardsonApr 13 02:02p

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson will remain with the Packers after the team decided to match the one-year, $2.55 million offer he signed with the Oakland Raiders, according to a source.

Sean RichardsonApr 12 10:02a

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson signed an offer sheet with the Oakland Raiders, and the Packers have until Monday, April 13, to inform him if they [ More ]

Jason CampbellApr 12 07:02a

Free-agent QB Jason Campbell (Bengals) is considering retirement, according to sources close to the team. Campbell has rejected multiple opportunities to sign a contract for 2015, including offers from [ More ]

James CaseyApr 11 01:02p

Free-agent TE James Casey (Eagles) agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Saturday, April 11. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Johnny ManzielApr 11 12:22p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has been released from his rehab facility.

Victor ButlerApr 10 03:22p

New York Giants LB Victor Butler has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs.

Anthony SpencerApr 10 01:12p

Free-agent DE Anthony Spencer (Cowboys) signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints Friday, April 10. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Charles TillmanApr 9 04:02p

Free-agent CB Charles Tillman (Bears) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Thursday, April 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rob HouslerApr 9 12:42p

Free-agent TE Rob Housler (Cardinals) has agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns on a one-year deal, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Le'Veon BellApr 9 09:52a

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell was suspended three games and fined an additional game check after violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to league sources. He has appealed.

Stevan RidleyApr 8 07:53p

New York Jets RB Stevan Ridley signed a one-year deal with the team.

Amobi OkoyeApr 8 04:53p

Dallas Cowboys DT Amobi Okoye was released Wednesday, April 8.

Emmanuel LamurApr 8 03:43p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Emmanuel Lamur officially re-signed Wednesday, April 8, to a one-year, $2.356 million deal.

Adrian PetersonApr 8 01:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is 'highly unlikely' to face more suspension from the league when he's finally off the Commissioner's Exempt List, according to a source. Peterson's next [ More ]

George JohnsonApr 7 10:23p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed restricted free-agent DE George Johnson (Lions) to a three-year offer sheet Tuesday, April 7. Financial terms are undisclosed. The Lions have five days to match the offer.

Le'Veon BellApr 7 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell is expected to be suspended for the first two games of next season, according to sources. Bell is being suspended following an arrest last [ More ]

Erin HendersonApr 7 05:13p

Free-agent LB Erin Henderson (Vikings) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, April 7, according to a source. Henderson didn't play last year [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group