Playing free and easy from the opening kickoff, the Washington Redskins went to Minnesota and laid an old fashioned whipping on the Minnesota Vikings, hurting their playoff chances with a resounding 32-21 win that puts them right in the thick of the playoff race at 8-7. The Vikings, playing in front of a loud, sold out loud crowd at the start of the contest, played one of their worst games of the season as they were beaten for the first time since a 34-0 defeat at Green Bay on November 11th.
The Vikings had built their five game winning streak with solid offensive numbers and even better defense, but got neither on this night. The big night belonged to Redskins QB Todd Collins, who has been great playing for the injured Jason Campbell. Collins went 22-for-29 for 254 yards with two touchdowns. Like last week in the Meadowlands vs the Giants, Collins was mistake free, making smart throws all night long.
The same could not be said for Vikings QB Tavaris Jackson, who was 24-for-38 for 211 yards with 1 TD and two picks. He also ran in a score late to make it 32-21 with 1:58 remaining. Much like last week vs the Bears when he struggled, he failed to make the big plays when needed for the Vikings. Minnesota was just 3-for-8 on third downs, 0-for-1 on fourth down conversions.
The Redskins were able to run the ball with a decent amount of success against the Vikings stout run defense. They put up 106 yards on 32 carries, enough to make the Vikings defense be aware of the run game and then it opened things up for Collins. Washington took the crowd out of the game with a safety about five minutes in the game when they were stopped short on 4th-and-goal from the 1/2 yard line.
Then on the next Redskins drive, Collins hit Chris Cooley, who was wide open for a 33-yard touchdown that made it 9-0. They kept the pressure on, as Collins hit Santana Moss from 32 yards out with 7:43 left in the second quarter to go up 16-0. They pulled come trickery on the final drive of the half, as Clinton Portis did the honors, throwing a 15-yard TD for Antwaan Randle El to make it 22-0 at halftime.
A Redskins field goal then make it 25-0 before the Vikings finally got on the board. Jackson hit a short TD to Jim Kleinsasser to make it 25-7. They made it 25-14 as Jackson ran in his first TD of the night. Portis put the game away as he went in from 13 yards out to make it 32-14 with 5:06 left. So now Washington will hold the cards for that precious final playoff spot in the NFC. They will take on a Cowboys team with nothing to play for next week at home. The Vikings will attempt to win and get help as they play at Denver.