Early problems in red zone hurt Vikings in loss Print
Written by Admin   
Sunday, 14 October 2012 17:38
NFL Headline News

 LANDOVER, Md. (AP) - At least the Minnesota Vikings know their defense won't be tasked with trying to stop Robert Griffin III again during the regular season.0
What running back Adrian Peterson and the rest of the Vikings want to figure out right away is how to get the ball in the end zone from the red zone. To a man, the Vikings regretted the field goals they settled for instead of touchdowns on three drives that stalled inside the 10-yard line Sunday in the first quarter of a 38-26 loss to Griffin's Washington Redskins.
``I don't know our defense, what they feel like they need to improve on, but offensively, we need to turn those 3 points into 7s. Period. It's not a game if we do that,'' Peterson said. ``I'm going to make sure I harp on that all week and we really take it personal. Because it's happened for four weeks in a row.''
Even players on defense for Minnesota (4-2) - which allowed a total of only 33 points in its previous three outings, and hadn't given up more than 23 in any game this season - lamented that early string of field goals.
``We need to score more touchdowns,'' said cornerback Antoine Winfield, who intercepted Griffin on Washington's second drive.
On Minnesota's first possession, a first-and-goal at the 10 led to fourth down at the 2. On came Blair Walsh for a 20-yard field goal.
Minnesota's second possession stalled at the 9, and Walsh hit from 27 yards.
Same thing the next time the Vikings had the ball.
``We had a chance to go up 21-nothing,'' receiver Percy Harvin pointed out, ``and we didn't do that.''
That's true.
At the outset of the game, the Vikings built up a 148-7 advantage in total yards, yet they only turned that into a 9-0 lead.
``We had an opportunity to really silence the crowd and change the Redskins' approach,'' coach Leslie Frazier said.
Didn't happen.
And that would really become a problem once the Redskins (3-3) got going, scoring the next 24 points in a row.
Griffin ran his option offense perfectly, to the tune of 138 yards rushing on 13 carries - including a 76-yard TD scamper on a key third-and-6 in the fourth quarter - and 17 of 22 for 182 yards and a TD throwing.
``Heck of a young player. He can throw the ball. He can run the ball,'' Frazier said. ``Things break down, he can make plays.''
Down 31-12 early in the fourth quarter, the Vikings did make the game more interesting, thanks to Christian Ponder's pair of TD tosses. But with the score 31-26, and Minnesota hoping to get the ball back, Griffin beat a Vikings blitz, found a seam to run through and wound up not only getting what would have been a key first down but going all the way to the end zone.
``Real critical play,'' Winfield said. ``We needed to make that play. We didn't.''
Time and time again, it was Griffin who made the difference.
``He's a gifted player. Like I told him, just talking to him, looking him in his eyes: He's got the heart of a champ. That's easy to see,'' said Peterson, who ran 17 times for 79 yards.
Peterson aggravated a twisted left ankle, and needed to leave the game briefly. Another key member of the offense, the do-everything Harvin, also appeared to have leg issues at times, but ended up with 11 catches for 133 yards.
Like Peterson, he did not score.
``That's something we have to go back to the drawing board, be a little better in the red zone,'' Harvin said. ``Very disappointing.''
So why did the Vikings have so much trouble in the early going?
``I don't know,'' Ponder said, ``what the issue is.''
NOTES: Ponder finished 35 for 52 for 352 yards, two TDs and two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. Ponder also lost a fumble, which helped the Redskins score two touchdowns 13 seconds apart in the second quarter. ... WR Jerome Simpson was inactive because of a back problem that causes weakness and numbness in his left leg. ``I just didn't feel comfortable with what I was seeing in practice,'' Frazier said. ... Peterson and Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall jawed at each other a bit after one play. ``He slapped me in the face after making a good tackle on me. And I was just telling him, `Hey, don't do me like that, brother.' I looked him in the eyes, and he knew I meant business,'' Peterson said. ``But it's all respect. I know sometimes you get caught up in the emotions and you do things you don't really intend to.''
Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

NFL Team Pages

Top NFL Public Bets

#1 480 Kansas City Chiefs 86%
#2 485 San Francisco 49ers 84%
#3 491 San Diego Chargers 79%
#4 488 Denver Broncos 72%
#5 475 Buffalo Bills 72%
#6 463 New Orleans Saints 72%
#7 490 Detroit Lions 65%
#8 469 Jacksonville Jaguars 64%
#9 468 Pittsburgh Steelers 64%
#10 484 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 63%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NFL Futures

View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com