Leslie Frazier stood before the assembled media and for the first time this season, didn't appear as though someone had taken his lunch money. His team played rinse and repeat against the Washington Redskins as they held a 34-27 lead only to watch the opponent drive the length of the field. It was a scene that played out in the Chicago game, and the Cleveland game, and the Dallas game. In each of those games, the defense couldn't hold and allowed a game winning score.
There are plenty of things to dissect when it comes to the short comings of this years team, but the inability to stop their opponents on third down is one of the most glaring. Put it this way, up until late in the third quarter the Vikings hadn't forced their opponent to punt at home since the 4th quarter of the Carolina Panthers game in week 6. Green Bay didn't punt and up until the third quarter, the Redskins hadn't either. The streak went to 13 straight opponent possessions that netted points for the opponents. A stat that almost seems impossible in today's NFL.
"I was like, hooray, hooray," said an animated Frazier when his team finally forced their first punt. "We got another one and we got another one so we're going to do this in the second half of the season. We're going to make people punt in the second half of the season. That's the goal."
That still left the Vikings defense to stop Washington when it mattered and secure a win. After driving the ball to the Minnesota 4-yard line, Robert Griffin threw three straight in completions, the final play was a fade to Santanna Moss that was thrown perfectly but Moss couldn't get his second foot down inbounds.
The team playing without key starters due to injury only dressed 42 players for the game and after a lackluster performance in the first half, came out in the second and held Washington to just three points.
Christian Ponder completed 17-of-21 passes for 178 yards and a pair of touchdowns before leaving in the third quarter with a separated shoulder. Adrian Peterson also scored twice on 20 carries and 75 yards on the ground.
Minnesota native John Carlson led the team in receiving with 7 catches for 98 yards and a score.
The Vikings up their record to 2-7 and will travel to Seattle next week to face the Seahawks.