for this game

Collins tosses two TDs as Redskins keep playoff hopes alive

Dec 24, 2007 - 7:13 AM By Brian Hall PA Sportsticker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) - Todd Collins helped the Washington Redskins gain control of their playoff destiny.

Collins tossed a pair of first-half touchdowns and the Redskins held on for a critical 32-21 triumph over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night, their third straight victory behind their backup quarterback.

Clinton Portis rushed for 76 yards and a score on 20 carries, and also threw a TD pass for Washington (8-7), which could clinch the final playoff spot in the NFC with a win next week when it hosts the Dallas Cowboys.

The Redskins have also rallied together as a team after the death of teammate Sean Taylor in November. Taylor - who was invited to the Pro Bowl posthumously - died after being shot in his Florida home during a burglary attempt.

"I think once we got our angel up situated in heaven, he gave us all the strength in the world," Portis said. "Now guys go out and just play and have fun."

The Vikings (8-7), who would have clinched a postseason berth with a win Sunday, had their five-game winning streak snapped and will now need a victory next week over the Denver Broncos coupled with a Redskins loss.

"That is a predicament you don't want to be in, you don't want to depend on anybody else," Minnesota quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. "You want to be in control of your own destiny, so we wanted to come out here and take care of this game, and you know we got behind in the first half with those turnovers and never really got back in the game."

An early challenge that went against Washington might have actually benefited the Redskins in the end.

After ex-Viking Fred Smoot's interception set up Washington with good field position, Mike Sellers thought he had scored on a 1-yard plunge up the middle on a fourth-down attempt in the first quarter.

Minnesota coach Brad Childress challenged the play, and the reversal gave the Vikings the ball inside their own 1-yard line. On the next play, Redskins defensive tackle Kedrick Golston and linebacker London Fletcher combined to stop Vikings fullback Tony Richardson in the end zone for a safety.

"It was a game where we had to get good penetration against their offensive line," Fletcher said. "You don't lead the league in rushing without being a good offensive line, and the running backs they have are special backs."

Following the free kick, Washington then went 67 yards in seven plays, culminating in Chris Cooley's 33-yard touchdown catch from Collins to give the Redskins a 9-0 lead with 7:24 left in the opening quarter.

Jackson threw two first-half interceptions, and Golston scooped up a fumble by Visanthe Shiancoe, allowing Washington to take control. The Redskins outgained the Vikings, 230-70, in the first half.

"If it wasn't for me turning the football over early, it probably would be a totally different game," Jackson said.

After Shawn Springs had the second interception of the night for Washington in the second quarter, Collins hit Santana Moss for a 32-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the drive to give Washington a 16-0 advantage.

Collins finished 22-of-29 for 254 yards and two touchdowns, while Moss had four catches for 71 yards.

"It's crazy," Collins said. "I mean, we were 5-7, backs against the wall, the starting quarterback goes down, the stuff that's happened with Sean, it's just such a trying time.

"The guys had trouble getting up for the game after Sean's death happened. I think at that time, it seems like everyone is making the decision to go one week at a time."

Portis gave the Redskins a 22-0 lead heading into halftime when he finished off a 10-play, 80-yard drive, hitting Antwaan Randle El in the end zone for a 15-yard score on the option pass.

The Vikings seemed like the desperate team in the second half.

They finally got on the scoreboard in the third quarter when Jackson drove the offense downfield and hit Jim Kleinsasser for a 2-yard touchdown pass. Jackson went 6-of-8 for 71 yards on the drive as Minnesota drew within 25-7.

It looked as if the Vikings would keep the momentum going, squibbing the ensuing kickoff and getting a recovery by Heath Farwell, but they went three-and-out and had to punt.

Jackson made it 25-14 early in the fourth after engineering a 51-yard drive in nine plays, capped off by his 7-yard TD run up the middle.

After an odd series of events kept a Redskins drive alive, Portis broke a 13-yard touchdown run to grab a 32-14 edge and all but seal the victory.

After Collins connected on a pass with Moss near the sidelines, Childress appeared ready to challenge the play but the Redskins ran up to the line of scrimmage for a quick snap. Collins, however, fumbled the snap and it was recovered by the Vikings.

"We were trying to hurry up because what we wanted to do was get a play run," Gibbs said. "We have a special call we make in that situation to try and get the ball snapped quick before they can challenge. That's what we were trying to do and we fumbled the snap and it got away from us, so it turned around and we ended up challenging."

In all the confusion, though, Minnesota had 12 players on the field, allowing Washington coach Joe Gibbs to challenge the play and the Redskins to maintained possession.

"I just want to see it be even-handed," Childress said, stating there has been a recent emphasis in the league to allow teams the opportunity to substitute players. "There was a change of possession. It happened at the 50-yard line where the ball is ours and momentum swings. Did we have 12 on? We did, but they changed personnel and the video is going to show that, and that's irritating as hell."

Washington defense held down the vaunted Minnesota running game. The Vikings entered the game first in the league in rush offense and rush defense.

"They are doing that with me and Chester in the game," Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said. "Just stacking the box, you know, and making it hard to try and run the ball. It has been like that the last couple of weeks."

The Vikings finished with just 87 rushing yards, 27 from Peterson. The Redskins ended up with 106 yards rushing as a team.

"All the talk all week was about Adrian Peterson," Washington defensive end Phillip Daniels said. "Pretty much as a defense, you have to try and end that. We want to come out here and let everyone know that we are a good defense."

Minnesota is trying to make the playoffs after starting out the season 2-5. The Redskins were 5-7 before their recent surge.

"As long as you don't quit, anything can happen," Moss said. "I don't think this team has any quit in us. We knew what we could be. We've been dealt a different picture, and we had to go with it that way. What we are doing right now is just finishing as strong as we can."






  • 30
    roots
    SuketoKetchi Added 5 roots

    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 11:39 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 9 13 3 7 32
    MINNESOTA 0 0 7 14 21 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: WAS - SAFETY, 4:17. WASHINGTON 2-0
    WAS - TD, CHRIS COOLEY 33 YD PASS FROM TODD
    COLLINS (SHAUN SUISHAM KICK), 7:36.
    Drive: 7 plays, 67 yards in 3:19.
    Key plays: Collins 6-yard pass to
    Caldwell

    Dec 23 11:32 PM


  • NFL
    TD MIN
    TARVARIS JACKSON 1 YD RUN
    (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)
    WASHINGTON 32
    MINNESOTA 21 1:58 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 11:23 PM


  • NFL
    TD WAS
    CLINTON PORTIS 13 YD RUN
    (SHAUN SUISHAM KICK)
    WASHINGTON 32
    MINNESOTA 14 5:06 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 11:09 PM
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    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 11:06 PM


  • NFL
    TD MIN
    TARVARIS JACKSON 7 YD RUN
    (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)
    WASHINGTON 25
    MINNESOTA 14 10:18 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 10:51 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 9 13 3 25
    MINNESOTA 0 0 7 7 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: WAS - SAFETY, 4:17. WASHINGTON 2-0
    WAS - TD, CHRIS COOLEY 33 YD PASS FROM TODD
    COLLINS (SHAUN SUISHAM KICK), 7:36.
    Drive: 7 plays, 67 yards in 3:19.
    Key plays: Collins 6-yard pass to
    C

    Dec 23 10:40 PM


  • NFL
    TD MIN
    JIM KLEINSASSER 2 YD PASS FROM TARVARIS JACKSON
    (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)
    WASHINGTON 25
    MINNESOTA 7 2:54 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 10:34 PM


  • NFL
    FG WAS
    SHAUN SUISHAM 23 YD
    WASHINGTON 25
    MINNESOTA 0 6:52 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 10:20 PM
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    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 9:50 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 9 13 22
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: WAS - SAFETY, 4:17. WASHINGTON 2-0
    WAS - TD, CHRIS COOLEY 33 YD PASS FROM TODD
    COLLINS (SHAUN SUISHAM KICK), 7:36.
    Drive: 7 plays, 67 yards in 3:19.
    Key plays: Collins 6-yard pass to
    Caldw

    Dec 23 9:47 PM


  • NFL
    TD WAS
    ANTWAAN RANDLE EL 15 YD PASS FROM CLINTON PORTIS
    (TWO-POINT PASS CONVERSION FAILED)
    WASHINGTON 22
    MINNESOTA 0 0:44 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 9:44 PM


  • NFL
    TD WAS
    SANTANA MOSS 32 YD PASS FROM TODD COLLINS
    (SHAUN SUISHAM KICK)
    WASHINGTON 16
    MINNESOTA 0 0:11 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 9:25 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 9 9
    MINNESOTA 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: WAS - SAFETY, 4:17. WASHINGTON 2-0
    WAS - TD, CHRIS COOLEY 33 YD PASS FROM TODD
    COLLINS (SHAUN SUISHAM KICK), 7:36.
    Drive: 7 plays, 67 yards in 3:19.
    Key plays: Collins 6-yard pass to
    C

    Dec 23 9:13 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 9 9
    MINNESOTA 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: WAS - SAFETY, 4:17. WASHINGTON 2-0
    WAS - TD, CHRIS COOLEY 33 YD PASS FROM TODD
    COLLINS (SHAUN SUISHAM KICK), 7:36.
    Drive: 7 plays, 67 yards in 3:19.
    Key plays: Collins 6-yard pass to
    C

    Dec 23 9:03 PM
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    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 8:46 PM


  • NFL
    TD WAS
    CHRIS COOLEY 33 YD PASS FROM TODD COLLINS
    (SHAUN SUISHAM KICK)
    WASHINGTON 9
    MINNESOTA 0 7:24 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 8:46 PM


  • NFL
    SAFETY WAS
    TONY RICHARDSON TACKLED BY - TEAM IN END ZONE
    WASHINGTON 2
    MINNESOTA 0 10:43 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 8:37 PM
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    Washington vs. VikingsDec 23 2:47 PM
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    Washington vs. VikingsDec 21 1:52 PM