On the first drive of the game, the Redskins offense looked great. They traveled 83 yards in nearly 8 minutes and capped it off with a touchdown catch by Fred Davis. After that, the offense looked mediocre. A combination of costly drops and penalties led to a 17-13 victory by the Vikings. Donovan McNabb had another solid game, throwing for 211 yards and a touchdown, but was sacked 4 times and was not helped by an anemic rushing attack. For the Vikings, Brett Favre managed the game well and did not throw an interception for only the second time this season. Despite an injury to star running back Adrian Peterson, the Vikings also ran for 137 yards and controlled the clock late in the game to seal the win. The Skins are now 5-6 with a critical game against the Giants upcoming.
Positives – The Skins defense had allowed an average of 411 yards per game heading into Sunday (among the worst in the league). They only gave up 299 yards to the Vikings and made key 3rd down stops to keep the Skins in the game. But the real star was Brandon Banks. The tiny receiver started the game running two Wildcat plays on the opening drive and finished with a 30.8-yard average on kickoff returns. He also nearly had a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown but it was called back on a penalty. Banks has become a major weapon for the Skins on both special teams and offense, and needs to be utilized more often. Also, props to him for doing the John Wall dance after his would-be touchdown return.
Negatives – The Skins receivers have had problems with drops all season but Sunday it might have cost them a victory. Santana Moss dropped two passes, one of which bounced off his facemask and was intercepted leading to a subsequent field goal by the Vikings. Anthony Armstrong also dropped a sure catch in the fourth quarter after grabbing a 45-yard bomb from McNabb. With no running game to speak of, the Skins needed their passing game to be at its best and the receivers did not deliver enough. Overall, the offense sputtered following the opening drive and finished with only 216 total yards. Also, a block in the back penalty on Banks’ punt return wiped a touchdown that would have given the Skins a lead late in the game. It was a rookie mistake by Perry Riley but a major one they couldn’t afford.