The Minnesota Vikings had Teddy Bridgewater on the active roster Sunday but they were led once again by Case Keenum to victory as the offense put up 38 points and the defense did just enough to hold the lead in a 38-30 victory over the Washington Redskins.
1st Down: The Vikings have been without Teddy Bridgewater, their starter for 2014 and 2015, since a knee injury before the start of the 2016 season, and they have been without Sam Bradford, Bridgewater's replacement for all but one full game, and it seems as if they haven't missed a beat. Yes, Case Keenum comes with his limitations, but in the mold of Trent Dilfer or Kerry Collins, this career backup is leading the Vikings to victory by doing just enough offensively to provide support to a fantastic defense. Keenum did throw two picks in Sunday's game but he also went 21/29, threw for 309 yards, had four touchdown passes, and a quarterback rating of 117, with a near-perfect QBR of 98.9. This kind of play has the Vikings on a five-game winning streak, and could be enough where they don't need a most likely incredibly rusty Bridgewater to come back to continue on their path to a playoff spot.
2nd Down: Adam Thielen had himself another great game as he caught eight passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. That touchdown came in the Vikes' 21-point second quarter when Thielen, Stefon Diggs (who caught four passes for 78 yards) and David Morgan all caught touchdown passes. On the year, Thielen has caught five or more passes in every game, eclipsing 100 yards twice and 90+ yards three other times. So far this season he has 56 receptions for 793 yards and two touchdowns. While not as many yards or receptions as Thielen, Diggs' touchdown on Sunday was a team-leading fifth touchdown reception on the season.
3rd Down: The Vikings defense allowed their highest point total of the season, eclipsing the 26 they gave up to the Pittsburgh Steelers in week two, but they were able to come through with major stops when it mattered the most. In the second half, the Vikings started with the ball and quickly worked their way down the field for a touchdown, a seven-yard touchdown pass to Jarius Wright to make it 35-17. After that however, things got dicey. Washington would kick a field goal to make it 35-20, then Case Keenum threw an interception to D.J. Swearinger. That's when the Vikings defense stepped up. With their backs against the wall, the Vikings allowed the Redskins to reach the Minnesota 32 yard line but on a fourth and six, the Vikings forced an incompletion on a pass from Kirk Cousins to Jamison Crowder to turn the ball over. However, two plays later, Keenum threw his second interception to Swearinger and the Vikings defense was unable to prevent Washington from scoring this time as Swearinger brought the ball to the two-yard line, and two plays later, Kirk Cousins punched it in to make it a one possession game, 35-27. After that however, the Vikings prevented the Redskins from entering the end zone. The Vikings offense stepped up and milked the clock for seven minutes, ending with a field goal to extend their lead to 11, 38-27. The Vikings then forced Washington to turn the ball over on downs, with Tom Johnson blowing up a rushing play on fourth and one to give his team the ball. The Vikings then punted the ball away, and the Redskins scored a field goal but it was all for naught as the defense held their ground and kept the lead.
4th Down: Lastly, the Vikings run defense continued their dominance, allowing only 81 yards on 27 carries, good for three yards per carry. They did allow two touchdowns, but both were by Kirk Cousins within the two yard line.
The Vikings put their 7-2 record next against the Los Angeles Rams, also 7-2, on Sunday at 12 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.