They wanted to show that they still have the personnel that could, with a few additions, get a winning team back on the field.
The Vikings already were missing a number of players who were injured going into Saturday's game at Washington, including left guard Steve Hutchinson. When they lost running back Adrian Peterson and quarterback Christian Ponder early in the third quarter, it really didn't look good for them, yet they still found a way to break their six-game losing streak and beat the Redskins 33-26.
The news on Peterson after the game wasn't good. The Vikings' superstar tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, an injury that will require months of rehabilitation.
In addition, safety Jamarca Sanford and wide receiver Percy Harvin spent time during the game being treated for injuries but came back to play.
The very reliable Ryan Longwell even missed an extra point along with a 49-yard field goal. That lost extra point was a problem for the Vikings later in the game, but they overcame that, thanks to some strong play on both ends of the ball.
Even though it might cost them in draft position, the Vikings needed badly to win these final two games against the Redskins and Bears to show that they still have the personnel that could, with a few additions, get a winning team back on the field.
And if they can beat Chicago next Sunday, they will escape being the Vikings team tied for the worst record in franchise history.Webb and Gerhart the key
It certainly was a merry Christmas Eve for the Vikings, but it was even merrier for two second-year offensive players: quarterback Joe Webb, who completed four of five passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another, and for running back Toby Gerhart, who rushed 11 times for a career-high 109 yards.
Gerhart had a key 67-yard run that set up Webb's rushing touchdown.
Gerhart, who has averaged 95.8 yards of offense per game over the past five games, said earlier this month, "I showed that I can be the guy that carries the ball 15 to 20 times a game and hopefully have an impact on the game."
At the same time he paid tribute to Peterson, who left Saturday's game because of a sprained knee that looked potentially serious.
"A-Train is a heck of a player and I'm learning a lot working with him," he said. "I'm growing as a player, even though I'm getting limited chances behind him."
Gerhart gained only 44 yards last week against the Saints because Peterson was able to play some after missing three games.
As for Webb, he came in for a couple of plays in the first half Saturday, including a 16-yard run when he lined up with Ponder, but he put on a great performance when he had to under center after Ponder suffered his injury.
With Webb's fine play as a quarterback, there should be less talk about the Vikings being in a position to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and more conversation about how Webb can be used along with Ponder.
"I mean, it's exciting, knowing that they have confidence with me in different positions and it's going to be fine," Webb said the other day. "We haven't talked much, they just tell me what I have for each game plan, for each game, and I just go out there and do my best at it. I can see myself at any position. God blessed me with a special talent, so I'm just taking it one day at a time."Zamberletti missing
Being the gentleman he is, the first thing Leslie Frazier did on his postgame radio show after the game was to pay tribute to longtime Vikings trainer Fred Zamberletti, who missed his first Vikings game ever -- he had attended 1,049 consecutive games, either preseason, regular season or postseason -- because he is ill and confined to a hospital.
Zamberletti, 69, has been an institution with the Vikings from the day the franchise started to operate. No doubt he was missed on this trip.Jackson impressive
Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who left the Vikings for Seattle as a free agent after last season, is having a great run with his new squad.
Jackson couldn't pull out a victory Saturday over NFC West champion San Francisco, when he completed 15 of 28 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown in the 49ers' 19-17 victory. This season, though, he has posted career highs in a number of categories, including games played (14), pass attempts (415), pass completions (250) and TD passes (13).
But Jackson was most impressive in the Seahawks' recent three-game winning streak -- with victories over Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Chicago -- which put them at least back in position to be a .500 team after a poor start to the season. Jackson completed 53 of 79 passes for 641 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for a QB rating of 104.4 in those games.
• Through home games in October the Vikings ticket revenue at the Metrodome was $27.8 million, or $2.1 million more than it was a year ago, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission reported. Vikings concession income was up from $569,936 to $466,413, an increase of $103,522.
• There is hope for a revival by the Vikings. Five NFL teams did not have a winning season for seven years before a Super Bowl-producing coaching staff took over the team. Those teams are the Packers under coach Vince Lombardi, the Eagles and Rams both under Dick Vermeil, the Seahawks under Mike Holmgren and the Cardinals under Ken Whisenhunt.
• Kyle Shanahan, Redskins offensive coordinator and son of Washington coach Mike, was born in Minneapolis while his dad coached for the Gophers in 1979.
• Class 5A football state champion Eden Prairie beat Minneapolis South 62-20 this season, but South coach Lenny Sedlock said the game was a good experience for his players, so the Tigers will play at Eden Prairie again this year.
• After winning the Champions Tour Player of the Year award earlier this month, former Gopher Tom Lehman has been player of the year at every level of pro golf he has participated in. He was the Hogan Tour (now the Nationwide Tour) Player of the Year in 1991 and the PGA Tour Player of the Year in 1996.
• Former Gophers coach Dan Monson's Long Beach State team plays for the championship of the Diamond Head Classic on Sunday night vs. Kansas State. The 49ers beat Auburn on Friday and No. 14 Xavier on Thursday; Xavier was without three suspended starters following the brawl with Cincinnati. Long Beach State is 7-5, with a victory at Pitt and close losses at Louisville, Kansas and North Carolina, all currently top-15 teams.
|Chicago Cubs||2||Top 8th Inning|
|Baltimore - K. Gausman||6:07 PM|
|Toronto - B. Morrow|
|Minnesota - S. Diamond||6:08 PM|
|Detroit - R. Porcello|
|Cleveland - Z. McAllister||6:10 PM|
|Boston - R. Dempster|
|LA Angels - J. Blanton||7:10 PM|
|Kansas City - E. Santana|
|San Jose||9:30 PM|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon|