After a bad first half, the Vikings came to life in the final two minutes and then carried that momentum into the second half. The hero of the game was Matt Asiata, who scored three touchdowns, for the third time in his career (he also scored a two-point conversion). Chris Tomasson tweeted that Asiata scored the fourth most in a game in Vikings history (Chuck Foreman and Ahmad Rashad each scored 24 and Rich Karlis scored 21). Teddy Bridgewater threw for 26 of 42 gaining 268 yards and a TD pass to backup tight end Chase Ford, and the Vikings defence sacked RGIII five times to keep the game in reach.
Washington got a gift of four points after a terrible roughing the passer penalty against safety Harrison Smith (replays showed little if any contact between Smith and RGIII, but it kept a stalled Washington drive alive). Instead of settling for a field goal, RGIII found a receiver on the goal line on the next play for the touchdown.
Cordarrelle Patterson still seems to be in the witness protection program, with only one reception on seven attempts (some of which were badly placed throws by Bridgewater, but others looked like the fault was on Patterson), and he made some odd kick return decisions that didn’t pan out.
At The Viking Age, Dan Zinski pinpoints the game’s turning point:
The key play to turn the game came late in the second quarter when Robert Griffin III threw up a terrible pass that was picked off by Captain Munnerlyn. This set up the Vikings for a 20-yard TD from Teddy Bridgewater to Chase Ford to cut the Redskins’ lead to 10-7.
Trailing by just 3 going into the half, the Vikings knew they were in it. They came out in the second half with a commitment to run the ball down the Redskins’ throats and they got it done.
Norv Turner cranked up the two-headed monster of Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata in the second half, helping Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings find the offensive rhythm they had been missing throughout the first half.
With the running game working, Bridgewater was able to operate much more efficiently than in the first half. Bridgewater threw some bad incompletions early in the game but never lost confidence, still taking shots when they were there.
Though the pass protection was not especially great, Teddy showed his cool under pressure by delivering most of his short passes accurately and, most importantly, not turning the ball over.