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Defense Stands Tall Late As Vikings Top Redskins

MINNEAPOLIS — Teddy Bridgewater orchestrated his third fourth-quarter comeback drive of his rookie season, and Matt Asiata powered his way to three touchdowns and the game winner to push the Vikings past the Redskins 29-26 Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Minnesota took a one-point lead on a 1-yard plunge by Asiata, who added a 2-point conversion run, to put the Vikings up for good with 3:27 left in the game.

The Vikings defense stopped the Redskins next possession, and Minnesota's offense worked off precious seconds before punting with 12 seconds left. Washington's Robert Griffin III tried to find DeSean Jackson, who had a pair of 40-plus catches in the game, with a deep heave, but the ball sailed to the sidelines as time expired.

It was the second time this season for Asiata to score three rushing touchdowns. He had 26 yards on 10 carries, and rookie Jerick McKinnon added 54 yards on 14 carries. Bridgewater finished 26-of-42 passing for 268 yards.

The Vikings turned a Redskins turnover into a touchdown near the end of the first half.

Captain Munnerlyn intercepted Griffin with 59 seconds remaining in the first half. Munnerlyn's second interception in as many games gave Minnesota the ball at the Washington 46-yard line and helped the Vikings recover from a drive that stalled on the previous play with a failed pass on fourth-and-2. The interception was reviewed by the booth and the play stood.

Bridgewater opened the resulting possession by finding Greg Jennings along the Washington sideline for a gain of 22. He avoided a bad play by throwing the ball out of bounds, then hit Asiata for a gain of 4 to set up third-and-6 from the 20. Bridgewater delivered a great ball to Chase Ford in the end zone. It was Brigdewater's third career touchdown pass and first career TD catch for Ford.

Minnesota opened the second half by forcing a three-and-out with consecutive sacks by Everson Griffen and Chad Greenway, then took its first lead of the game on a 1-yard TD run by Asiata. The drive included a 15-yard pass to McKinnon and consecutive runs by the rookie of 15 and 9 yards.

Washington, however, responded by returning the kickoff to the 44-yard line and putting together a seven-play drive that ended with an 11-yard TD pass to Jackson with 7:23 left in the third quarter. The Vikings appeared to have the Redskins stopped on a tackle of Griffin by Harrison Smith, but officials flagged Smith for contact with Griffin's helmet, an allegation Smith disputed heavily.

A tackle for loss by rookie Anthony Barr helped limit Washington to a 26-yard field goal by Kai Forbath on Washington's next possession.

The Vikings offense built off that stop by quickly marching 76 yards in 3:57 on a drive that included completions of 13 to Charles Johnson and Greg Jennings, a 16-yard scramble by Bridgewater and a 15-yard pass to Rhett Ellison. Asiata capped the possession with a 7-yard TD run, the longest scoring rush of his career.

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