Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Final gun report: Wash. 38, Vikings 26

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Madieu Williams Updated: October 14, 2012 - 6:30 PM

Postgame snapshot from FedEx Field in Landover, Md., where the Redskins beat the Vikings 38-26.

Good news: The Vikings are not in the NFC East. It’s safe to say they’ll be glad they won’t have to face Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III very often. After a lethargic first quarter, RG3 got into a groove, leading Washington to scores on four straight drives in the second and third quarters. Griffin finished the day 17-for-22 passing for 182 yards. That included a 6-yard touchdown toss to Darrel Young. Griffin also ran the ball 12 times for 139 yards, scoring on a 7-yard run in the third quarter and the electrifying game-sealing 76-yard score with 2:43 left.

Bad news: The Vikings fell apart in the second quarter. Offensively, they had just one first down in three possessions. They were also outgained 115-9 in the quarter. Washington scored 17 unanswered points to take a 17-9 halftime lead. That included a pair of touchdowns just 13 seconds apart. After Alfred Morris delivered a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:27 left before halftime, quarterback Christian Ponder lost a fumble on the next play from scrimmage. The Redskins quickly capitalized with the TD pass to Young. Ponder had a shaky outing. He was 35-for-52 for 352 yards with a 9-yard TD toss to Michael Jenkins midway through the fourth quarter. Ponder also had three turnovers, including an atrocious fourth-quarter interception that former Viking Madieu Williams returned for a score to put Washington ahead 31-12.

Extra point: Truth be told, rookie kicker Blair Walsh didn’t make an extra point Sunday. But he did make field goals from 20, 27, 27 and 37 yards. Walsh is now 16-for-17 on field goals this season. He has also produced touchbacks on 23 of his 33 kickoffs.

Next up: The Vikings will host Arizona in Week 7. The Cardinals hosted Buffalo this afternoon and were tied 16-16 in overtime after Jay Feel’s 61-yard field goal at the end of regulation.

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