The final score of the Minnesota Vikings/Washington Redskins game accurately tells the story of what took place Sunday, with the Redskins coming out on top 38-26. The point being, that there was a lot of scoring going on in this one.
While it wasn’t a full-fledged shootout, both teams were throwing punches back and forth throughout most of the fourth quarter. In the end it was a 76-yard touchdown run from Robert Griffin III that delivered the fatal blow to the Vikings.
But as with any game that’s decided in the final minutes, there’s always more to the story than the game-winning play.
When it comes to the Vikings on Sunday, it was their inability to score touchdowns that caused their demise.
Three first quarter drives resulted in three field goals for Minnesota. They came out and took charge of the game from the start, but were only able to muster nine points. All three drives were promising, but stalled and led to appearances from rookie kicker Blair Walsh.
Now while I am critical of the Vikings for not punching it in for six on Sunday, I can’t say enough about Walsh. To say that he’s exceeded expectations would be a huge understatement. The guy is money from nearly anywhere on the field, and basically automatic from within forty yards.
The Vikings have a very solid kicking game and fans should be thankful for that, but it’s time they start turning three point drives into seven.
Early in the season when it was unclear how the team would look on offense, field goals were okay. Any points on the board were good points, but now the bar has been raised. The Vikings have gone from a team expected to do nothing, to a team that should contend for an NFC playoff spot. Field goals are great, but touchdowns are needed to play on the next level.
In total Walsh kicked four field goals, and if Minnesota can turn just two of those into touchdowns in the future, they’ll likely find themselves on the other end of these high-scoring affairs.
Even in defeat it was great to see the Vikings battle until the end, and fans must remember that this is just another step in the development of this young team.