MINNEAPOLIS -- Despite forcing four field goals against the red-hot Minnesota Vikings, the Washington Redskins did not have nearly enough offensive firepower in a 19-9 loss at U.S. Bank Stadium on Thursday night.
The Redskins totaled 216 yards of total offense compared to 434 for the Vikings and failed to score a touchdown for their second straight game.
"I thought by and large the effort of our football team was there tonight and it was something we can keep working at and get better at," interim head coach Bill Callahan said. "But we just didn't close. That was the main takeaway of this game. As I told the team, if we can just keep working, the same type of effort but close stronger in critical situations. That's where it really comes down to."
It did not help that quarterback Case Keenum was forced out of the game with a concussion at halftime. Over the first two quarters, Keenum completed 12 of his 16 passes for 130 and moved the offense inside the Vikings' 10-yard line twice. Both possessions ended with short field goals from kicker Dustin Hopkins.
In Keenum's absence, first-round rookie Dwayne Haskins saw his second game action of the season but could not build on his predecessor's early success. And the one time the Redskins did move inside the 30-yard line in the second half, Haskins overthrew a wide open Terry McLaurin for his fourth interception in as many career quarters. Haskins finished the game 3 of 5 passing for 33 yards.
"I hate losing. I feel like I played a part in that and it's tough," Haskins said. "But it's only year one for me. I got a lot of years left and this is all a learning experience."
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs (7 receptions for 143 yards) and running back Dalvin Cook (171 yards from scrimmage) carried the Vikings offensively in their fourth straight win. And while Kirk Cousins did not throw a touchdown -- Cook scored the only touchdown of the game right before halftime -- the veteran quarterback completed all but three of his 26 passes for 285 yards and had a passer rating of 112.3.
Check out photos of the Washington Redskins warming up before their regular season Week 8 game against the Minnesota Vikings presented by Bose.
The two teams traded field goals throughout the first half, with Hopkins connecting from 21 and 30 yards, respectively, and Vikings kicker Dan Bailey making his 50- and 29-yard attempts. But seconds before halftime, Minnesota pulled ahead with an efficient 7-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a seven-yard touchdown run from Cook. Despite an inspiring effort on both sides of the ball, the Redskins found themselves down, 13-6, at the break.
The Vikings (5-2) added a third field goal in their opening possession of the second half, but the Redskins responded with a field goal of their own by way of a 6-play, 50-yard drive. The drive included a 21-yard catch and run from Adrian Peterson and then a historic 29-yard scamper on the next play. With his longest run of the season, Peterson moved into sixth place on the NFL all-time leading rushing list.
Later in the period, the Redskins (1-7) appeared to have a prime opportunity to tie the game. Cousins tried a quarterback sneak on 4th-and-1 from the Vikings' 34-yard line but was stuffed, giving the ball back to the visitors. Two plays later, McLaurin (four plays, 39 yards) ran free over the middle for what would have placed the Redskins in the red zone. However, Haskins' pass was too high for his former Ohio State teammate, tipping off his hands and into the arms of Anothy Harris for an interception.
It served as the Redskins' last chance to pull the upset in an eventual 19-9 defeat.
"We had some critical plays and critical turnovers as well that cost us," Peterson said. "Last week it was me that cost us from taking advantage of our opportunity to put points on the board. So we just need to correct those things and understand that we have what it takes offensively, defensively, special teams. They're doing a great job flipping the field, and we got to just got to feed off that. We have only won one game, but when you look at the guys in this locker room we have the potential to roll off eight in a row."