Final

Vikings 33

(3-12, 2-6 away)

Redskins 26

(5-10, 2-6 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 24, 2011

FedEx Field, Landover, MD 

1 2 3 4 T
MIN 3 7 13 1033
WSH 0 10 10 626

Top Performers

Passing: R. Grossman (WSH) - 284 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: E. Royster (WSH) - 19 CAR, 132 YDS

Receiving: J. Gaffney (WSH) - 6 REC, 77 YDS, 1 TD

Vikings lose Adrian Peterson, hold off Redskins for 3rd win

ESPN.com news services

LANDOVER, Md. -- Out for the game -- and n much longer -- with a knee injury that looked and felt serious, Adrian Peterson was on his way back from the X-ray room in the depths of the stadium when he looked at a television monitor.

"I see Toby break up the sideline," Peterson said. "So, 'Go, Toby, go.' "

What else could happen to the Minnesota Vikings in one of the worst seasons in franchise history? How about losing Peterson to a torn ACL and Christian Ponder to a possible concussion on back-to-back plays to start the second half? It just didn't seem fair.

It got worse when the team announced late Saturday night that Peterson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and a source told ESPN's Josina Anderson that he also tore the MCL in the same knee. Coach Leslie Frazier will provide a further update at his news conference Monday.

But the Vikings could still bask in the fact that they won the game. Toby Gerhart and Joe Webb answered the call, leading Saturday's 33-26 victory over the Washington Redskins, breaking a six-game losing streak that helped make up for the fact that their best player was standing on crutches in the locker room.

"I can enjoy my Christmas now," Frazier said immediately after the game.

Gerhart scampered for a 67-yard run -- the play Peterson saw on TV -- to start Minnesota's next series after the Peterson-Ponder injuries and finished with 109 yards on 11 carries. Webb again made a case to be a starting quarterback by throwing for two touchdowns and running for another as the Vikings (3-12) kept alive their hopes to not finish with the worst record in team history. A win next week against Chicago would put them ahead of the dubious 1984 Minnesota team that went 3-13.

Asked if it's time to give the option-running Webb a look at the No. 1 job, Frazier didn't hesitate.

"Some of the things he does, and what it does to the rest of our team, you can't ignore," Frazier said. "So it's something we're going to have a real hard look at as we go forward. He definitely lifts our team."

He might get the start next week, at least, because of Ponder's injury, but Webb surely was an inspiring presence Saturday, completing 4 of 5 passes for 84 yards and rushing five times for 34 yards. His 9-yard touchdown run came on the option, and he put a perfect 17-yard scoring pass into the arms of rookie tight end Kyle Rudolph, a touchdown appropriate for Christmas Eve, to give the Vikings a 23-20 lead late in the third quarter.

"When they bring in a weapon like that," Redskins linebacker Perry Riley said of Webb, "not a secret weapon -- we'd seen him on tape and we had a feeling -- but it's hard to prepare fully on a short week for two quarterbacks. ... It's hard to change it mid-stream like that."

Webb's 8-yard pass to Percy Harvin broke a 23-all tie early in the fourth quarter, and rookie Mistral Raymond's first career interception set up Ryan Longwell's 23-yard field goal to give the Vikings a 10-point lead with 4:05 to play. Minnesota had gone nine games without a pick before Raymond's big play.

The Redskins pulled within a touchdown on Graham Gano's 47-yard field goal with 1:25 remaining. They got the ball back after a punt, but Rex Grossman's final long fling to the end zone fell incomplete to give Washington (5-10) a sixth straight home loss, its longest such skid since 1994.

Peterson said he knew "it was something bad" the moment he was hit by safety DeJon Gomes at the end of a 3-yard gain on the first offensive play of the second half.

A torn ACL will likely sideline Peterson for some nine months and make it difficult for him to return for the start of next season.

"Anytime you take a blow to the knee like that, you're concerned about the ACL, MCL," Peterson said. "I'm trying to stay as positive as I can."

On the play after Peterson was hurt, Ponder suffered a head injury when sacked by Adam Carriker and London Fletcher. Ponder remained in the game for one more play -- a third-down incomplete pass -- before heading to the locker room.

Frazier said Ponder had "concussion-like symptoms." The coach said he's uncertain whether the quarterback will play in next week's season finale against the Bears.

"We'll have to weigh it when we get back," Frazier said, "and I'll follow the doctor's lead."

With the way Webb is playing, Ponder might get the week off anyway.

Game notes

Grossman had two more giveaways -- a lost fumble and interception -- to put his total at 24 for the season. He was already tied for the most turnovers in the NFL entering the game. ... Washington's Evan Royster, getting the start with fellow rookie Roy Helu out with an injury, ran for 132 yards on 19 carries. ... Minnesota's Jared Allen had one sack to raise his total to 18 1/2. ... The Vikings were also short-handed along the offensive line, with guard Steve Hutchinson inactive with a concussion and guard Anthony Herrera sidelined for part of the game with a lower back injury.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MIN
WSH
1st Downs2023
Passing 1st downs
816
Rushing 1st downs
107
1st downs from penalties
20
3rd down efficiency
4-113-10
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays5868
Total Yards389397
Yards per play6.75.8
Total Drives1111
Passing148256
Comp-Att
12-1826-41
Yards per pass
7.45.8
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-43-28
Rushing241141
Rushing Attempts
3824
Yards per rush
6.35.9
Red Zone (Made-Att)4-62-4
Penalties4-408-64
Turnovers02
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession29:3430:26

Passing Leaders

MINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Webb4/58416.8201-3
Ponder8/13685.2001-1
WSHC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Grossman26/412846.9213-28

Rushing Leaders

MINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Gerhart111099.9067
Harvin4399.8031
WSHCARYDSAVGTDLG
Royster191326.9028
Torain482.004

Receiving Leaders

MINRECYDSAVGTDLG
Harvin56513.0136
Aromashodu23618.0023
WSHRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gaffney67712.8129
Stallworth55911.8119

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMINWSH
minFG7:16Ryan Longwell 36 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 2 yds, 1:23
30
SECOND QUARTERMINWSH
minTD15:00Adrian Peterson 1 Yard Run (Ryan Longwell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 68 yds, 5:52
100
wshTD10:49Donte Stallworth 5 Yard Pass From Rex Grossman (Graham Gano Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 60 yds, 4:10
107
wshFG1:07Graham Gano 26 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 53 yds, 4:34
1010
THIRD QUARTERMINWSH
wshFG10:47Graham Gano 53 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 4 yds, 2:39
1013
minTD9:30Joe Webb 9 Yard Run (Ryan Longwell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 75 yds, 1:17
1713
wshTD6:03Jabar Gaffney 4 Yard Pass From Rex Grossman (Graham Gano Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 43 yds, 3:26
1720
minTD2:48Kyle Rudolph 17 Yard Pass From Joe Webb (Ryan Longwell Kick is No Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 73 yds, 3:16
2320
FOURTH QUARTERMINWSH
wshFG12:45Graham Gano 25 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 79 yds, 5:00
3023
minTD10:13Percy Harvin 8 Yard Pass From Joe Webb (Ryan Longwell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 72 yds, 2:35
3023
wshTD8:06Brandon Banks 1 Yard Run
Drive info: 5 plays, 13 yds, 2:34
3023
minFG4:10Ryan Longwell 23 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 19 yds, 3:27
3323
wshFG1:30Graham Gano 47 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 52 yds, 2:40
3326

Research Notes

NEXT LEVEL: Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson both went down with injuries early in the third quarter, but Minnesota did not skip a beat. Joe Webb came into the game and opened the running game for the Vikings, helping Minnesota gain 176 of its 241 rushing yards when he was on the field. Webb's threat to break the long runs with the option opened up lanes for other Vikings, including Toby Gerhart who ran for a career-high 109 yards, 105 of which came after Webb entered the game.
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