2013 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

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

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