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Vikings Come From Behind To Beat Skins

The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Washington Redskins but the victory came at a price.

The Vikings defeated the Redskins but the victory came at a price for Christian Ponder.

In a battle of two of this season’s most disappointing sides, the Minnesota Vikings used a second-half comeback to sneak past the Washington Redskins Thursday night, winning the game 34-27.

The Vikings trailed the Redskins by 13 points early in the third quarter, but a 20-0 run in the last 20 minutes of the game saw the team pick up its second win of the season, and first at the Metrodome.

The win didn’t come without a fight though. Washington looked the dominant side for much of the game as Alfred Morris ran for 139 yards on 26 carries for his second straight 100-plus yard rushing game. Robert Griffin III completed 24 of 37 passes for 281 yards and rushed for another 44 yards. He connected with Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed, and Logan Paulson for touchdowns without turning the ball over.

But after a Kai Forbath 40-yard field goal on the opening possession of the second half, the Redskins offense was kept in check by the Vikings defense, which pitched a shutout for the remainder of the game.

Meanwhile, the Vikings offense started to find a rhythm. Christian Ponder found John Carlson for a 28-yard touchdown, the quarterback’s second of the game, before Adrian Peterson ran the ball in from a yard out late in the third quarter.

The Vikings suffered a blow with a minute and change left in the quarter when Ponder left the field with a dislocated shoulder. He finished the game 17 of 21 for 174 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Having missed three games already this season, including the team’s first win of the year in London, Ponder will be looking to return sooner rather than later.

As he did in Week 4, Matt Cassell took Ponder’s place in the lineup. He completed four of six passes for 47 yards as the team went to the running game and scored a pair of field goals.

With Minnesota leading and 3:36 left on the clock, the Redskins had one last shot sending the game into overtime. Griffin took his team from its own 20 yard line to Minnesota’s 4 yard line. From there, the Viking defense held out, causing Griffin to throw incompletions on 2nd and 3rd down. His last-ditch pass on 4th and goal was caught by Santana Moss, but the receiver was only able to keep one foot in bounds, forcing the Redskins to turn the ball over on downs.

Having lost three games already this season in the last minute, the Vikings finally held on long enough to leave with a win.

Minnesota (2-7) will now look ahead to Week 11 and a trip to the Pacific Northwest for a showdown with the NFC-leading Seattle Seahawks. Washington (3-6) meanwhile will head east to face divisional rivals the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 17.

Vegas Impact

Minnesota (4-5-0 ATS) covered the spread for the second straight game. The Vikings have been successful against the spread in both of their wins this season. Washington (3-6-0 ATS) meanwhile has traded wins and losses against the spread for the past seven games. By that logic, they might be worth taking in next week’s showdown with the Eagles.

The game saw the total go over as the teams combined for 61 points. On the season, Minnesota (7-2-0) has favored the over, but the Vikings have seen the total go under in two of the last four. With Seattle not showing any real inclination to the over or under, next week’s game could go either way.

Washington (6-3-0) has now seen the total go over in four straight games. Philadelphia is another team that tends to favor the over, which means next weekend’s battle could cover the over. The total went over when the two sides met in Week 1.

In terms of NFL futures, expect Washington’s odds to stretch further than the 100/1 odds the team was assigned at the start of this week. It’s hard to see the team rebounding from this 3-6 start, even though that’s exactly what happened a year ago.

Minnesota will stay on the board for another week, but it’s unlikely they’ll have any improvement on the 1000/1 odds they were given this week.

20131107_standings For a full list of the remaining Week 10 NFL odds, click here.

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