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(Sunday, November 28th)
Final Score: Minnesota 17, Washington 13
Landover, MD (Sports Network) - Rookie Toby Gerhart and Adrian Peterson each scored a touchdown on the ground, as the Minnesota Vikings held off the Washington Redskins, 17-13, in Leslie Frazier's debut as head coach.
The Vikings, who lost to the Saints in the NFC championship game last season, got off to a 3-7 start this year. That led to Minnesota's firing of Brad Childress on Monday. Frazier, who was the defensive coordinator, was promoted to interim head coach.
Peterson carried the ball six times for 36 yards before tweaking his right ankle. Gerhart played the entire second half and rushed for 76 yards on 22 carries for the Vikings (4-7), who had lost eight in a row on the road in the regular season dating back to a win in Green Bay on November 1, 2009.
Brett Favre completed 15-of-23 passes for 172 yards for the victors.
"This was a tremendous team win and hopefully the start of some great things to come," Frazier said.
Donovan McNabb connected on 21-of-35 passes for 211 yards, a touchdown, and an interception for the Redskins (5-6), who have lost three of four.
Trailing, 17-7, Washington got a 65-yard kickoff return from Brandon Banks late in the third quarter. The Redskins failed to do much with the great field position, and Graham Gano made a 40-yard field goal with 13:34 left in the fourth.
After Minnesota went three-and-out, McNabb threw a 45-yard pass down the left sideline to Anthony Armstrong. The offense stalled from there and the Redskins got a 42-yarder from Gano this time to cut the gap to 17-13 with 10:02 to play.
The turning point in the game came on the ensuing Vikings punt. Banks returned the punt 77 yards for a touchdown, but Perry Riley was called for an illegal block. Instead of taking the lead, the Redskins took over at their own 11 and went three-and-out.
The Vikings got the ball back with 6:13 to play. Minnesota was able to run the ball to pick up first downs. Faced with a 3rd-and-8 from the Washington 24 with just under 2 1/2 minutes left, Favre ran for 10 yards to seal the game, as the Redskins had no timeouts left.
"Today we were off," Redskins head coach Shanahan said. "I mean, we just threw for just over 200 yards and we had a nice first drive. We were pretty inconsistent against a defense that was fairly good. They played a lot more consistently than we did and they deserve to win."
The Redskins got the ball to start the game and put together an impressive 13- play, 83-yard drive. Washington faced four third downs on the march, which lasted 7:53, but each time McNabb used a big play to pick up the first down. McNabb ran for three yards to convert the first third down before completing passes of 14 and 13 yards to Chris Cooley to pick up the next two. Faced with a 3rd-and-12 from the 29, Roydell Williams hauled in a 19-yard pass from McNabb. Fred Davis then capped the lengthy drive with a 10-yard TD catch.
Minnesota also scored on its first possession to make it a 7-7 game. Peterson ripped off gains of five, 34 and eight yards before rumbling into the end zone from five yards out with 3:21 remaining.
The scoring slowed down considerably after that, as the remainder of the first half was filled with punts.
The Vikings started the second half with a new face in the backfield, as Gerhart took over the running duties with Peterson nursing an ankle injury. Visanthe Shiancoe caught passes of 12 and 29 yards to set up Minnesota at the Washington 14. Gerhart capped the nine-play march with a five-yard touchdown run for a 14-7 lead with 9:48 remaining.
Following four punts, McNabb threw a pass to Santana Moss. The ball bounced off the chest of Moss and into the air for E.J. Henderson, who intercepted the ball and fell down at the Washington nine-yard line. The Vikings only got a 31-yard field goal from Ryan Longwell to make it a 17-7 contest with 52 seconds left.
Washington still owns an 8-7 edge on the Vikings in regular-season play...Frazier is his fourth season with the Vikings and 12th overall as an NFL coach...Peterson came up hobbling early in the second quarter. He was seen walking around on the sideline in the second half...Minnesota was without wide receiver Bernard Berrian...The Redskins played without safety LaRon Landry and running back Ryan Torain...Shiancoe caught three passes for 54 yards...Armstrong hauled in two passes for 53 yards...The Redskins were limited to 29 yards on the ground.
11/28 20:24:48 ET
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