For much of the week, the focus of the Minnesota Vikings was on the return of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. On Sunday, the focus shifted. . .for better and worse. . .to the guy that currently occupies the Vikings’ starting quarterback spot.
Case Keenum threw a career-high four touchdown passes. . .along with two awful interceptions. . .and the Vikings held the Washington Redskins off at the end to leave the nation’s capital with a 38-30 victory.
Washington got on the board first, finding the end zone on their first possession. The score came courtesy of a 36-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Maurice Harris on a play where Harris made a ridiculous catch despite perfect coverage from Trae Waynes. The play was originally ruled an incomplete pass, but the Redskins challenged and the call was (correctly) overturned to give the Redskins a touchdown.
Minnesota answered quickly with a touchdown of their own. On their third play from scrimmage, Case Keenum dropped back and found Stefon Diggs down the right sideline for a 51-yard gain to the Redskins’ 2-yard line. Two plays later, Latavius Murray punched it in from a yard out, and Kai Forbath put home the extra point to tie the game at 7-7 midway through the first quarter.
Nick Rose gave Washington the lead back with a 28-yard field goal before the end of the first quarter to make it 10-7. Minnesota took the lead for the first time early in the second quarter, as Keenum found Diggs for a 3-yard score, with Forbath’s extra point giving the Vikings a 14-10 advantage.
Washington took the lead back later in the second quarter, thanks to a. . .we’ll call it “questionable”. . .quarterback sneak by Kirk Cousins for a touchdown. Cousins appeared to be stopped short of the goal line, but the officials continued to let the play go and Cousins eventually got across. That gave the Redskins a 17-14 lead.
Minnesota answered right back, though, thanks to a 7-yard touchdown pass from Keenum to Adam Thielen. Thielen had three big catches on the drive as Minnesota took the lead back by a score of 21-17 just after the two-minute warning.
Cousins then threw an interception to Mackensie Alexander on the first play of Washington’s next possession, and the Vikings were set up at the Washington 23-yard line. Three plays later, Keenum found David Morgan for his first NFL touchdown to give the Vikings a 28-17 lead going into the locker room at halftime.
Minnesota kept the momentum going on their first drive of the second half, as they marched down the field, highlighted by another huge pass from Keenum to Thielen. The 49-yard bomb put the Vikings inside the Washington red zone, and three plays later Jarius Wright. . .yeah, Jarius Wright. . .went into the end zone on a seven-yard reception, with Forbath’s extra point making it 35-17 early in the third.
Washington cut it to 35-20 on a 21-yard field goal by Rose midway through the third quarter. After an interception from Keenum, Washington pushed into Minnesota territory near the end of the third quarter, but turned the ball over on downs after a fourth down attempt failed.
After Keenum’s second interception in as many possessions, the Redskins took advantage, as Kirk Cousins went in on a keeper from two yards out. With the extra point from Nick Rose, the Redskins found themselves within one score at 35-27.
“Cobra” Kai Forbath swept the leg on a long field goal, a 53-yarder, to put the Vikings back up by 11 midway through the fourth quarter, 38-27. Nick Rose buried a 56-yarder to make it 38-30 with just over a minute remaining, but the Vikings recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock to pick up their fifth straight victory.
Case Keenum was amazing for most of the afternoon. His final stats show that he completed 21-of-29 passes for 302 yards and four touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions to keep the Redskins in the ballgame later. Adam Thielen was the big beneficiary of Keenum’s big game, as he had 166 yards and a touchdown on eight catches. Stefon Diggs had four catches for 78 yards and a score. Kyle Rudolph chipped in with five catches for 37 yards, and Jerick McKinnon had two catches for 16 yards. Jarius Wright and David Morgan each had one catch. . .and one touchdown each as well, Wright’s from seven yards, Morgan’s from a yard out.
Minnesota run game did a decent job today, as Latavius Murray had 68 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, while McKinnon had ten carries for 32 yards. C.J. Ham also had a three-yard carry.
Minnesota moves their record to 7-2, and will host the Los Angeles Rams next week at U.S. Bank Stadium. Washington falls to 4-5 on the season, and will travel to New Orleans next week to take on the Saints.
The Vikings hold on for their fifth consecutive victory, holding on to win by a score of 38-30 at FedEx Field. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of today’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!