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Vikings Steal One From Redskins, 29-26

Check out the top photos from the Washington Redskins' Week 9 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Nov. 1, 2014, at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
When you're 3-5 and heading into the final game before your bye week, the importance of a win – and the potential effect of a loss – can't be overstated.

Both the Washington Redskins and the Minnesota Vikings brought identical 3-5 records with them on Sunday to TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, where they were hoping to head into their respective bye weeks with a little momentum for the stretch run the rest of the way.

So with quarterback Robert Griffin III back from an ankle injury and leading the offense for the first time since Week 2, the Redskins looked strong for the first quarter and a half against the host Vikings.

But Minnesota responded to the challenge, giving Washington all it wanted the rest of the way.

And when the clock struck 0:00, the Vikings ame away with the 29-26 victory in front of an announced crowd of 52,252 fans.

REVEALING MOMENT
When Redskins fans last saw No. 10 on the field, he was being carted off after suffering a gruesome injury to his left ankle Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Here's an exclusive look from the Washington Redskins' sideline during their Week 9 game with the Minnesota Vikings.

After undergoing several weeks of treatment with team trainers and then working hard to get back onto the practice field, Griffin III made his official return Sunday against the Vikings.

Any doubts about Griffin III's mobility and toughness were answered early in the game.

In the first quarter, Griffin III appeared dead in the water on 3rd and 7 from the Redskins' 49 yard line. But he somehow avoided a sure sack by linebacker Chad Greenway, and then squeezed away from another possible sack by defensive end Everson Griffen.

Griffin III, with a little more time, scrambled to his left, and found running back Roy Helu Jr. wide open to convert the first down.

PLAY OF THE GAME
The Redskins were pinned deep into their own territory at their nine-yard line when they faced a

1st and 10, leading 3-0 with 2:08 remaining in the first quarter.

Griffin III took the snap and faked the handoff to Alfred Morris, and, as the defense kept its eyes in the backfield, Jackson took advantage.

Griffin III launched a perfectly-placed pass down the right towards the three-time Pro Bowler, who made a nifty, over-the-shoulder catch at the 50 just as he got blasted by safety Harrison Smith to complete the 45-yard play.

Jackson – who later grabbed the aforementioned 13-yard touchdown pass – then made a similar play on a perfectly-placed over-the-shoulder pass from Griffin III, this time in the fourth quarter.

The 56-yard completion gave Washington the ball at the Minnesota 21-yard line, setting up Morris' two-yard, go-ahead score with 9:01 left in the game.

PLAYER OF THE GAME
You knew it was only a matter of time before Alfred Morris got rolling again.

The 2013 Pro Bowler had a big second half to help lead the Redskins to their Week 8 victory against the Dallas Cowboys, and certainly kept the momentum going in today's game against the Vikings.

He was bumblin' and stumblin' – and even catchin' – his way throughout the entire game, carrying the ball 19 times for 92 yards and two touchdowns.

He also caught two passes for 17 yards out of the backfield -- something Morris has displayed a lot more this season.

The multi-touchdown game was the fifth of Morris' career and his second of the season, joining his two-touchdown effort vs. Jacksonville in Week 2.

Including a rushing touchdown at Dallas last week, Morris has recorded rushing touchdowns in consecutive games for the time since Weeks 8-9 of the 2013 season.

UNSUNG HERO
Andre Roberts has been solid as a receiver this season for the Redskins, but it was in his role as a returner Sunday that shined through against the Vikings.

One return in particular helped the Redskins re-gain the momentum in the third quarter, as he took Minnesota kickoff one yard deep in the end zone, found a hole, and did all the work from there, eventually getting stopped at the Washington 44-yard line.

The 45-yard return was a season-best for Roberts and the Redskins, and, most importantly, it set up a go-ahead touchdown pass from Griffin III to DeSean Jackson eight plays later.

Roberts continues to be a solid, solid pickup for Washington this year.

WHAT'S NEXT
With today's matchup against the Minnesota Vikings officially a thing of the past, the Washington Redskins can get a little bit of rest before taking the field once again.

The Redskins have a couple days to meet and go over the film from the game before getting the next few days off for their bye week.

They return to the facility Nov. 10, when they will begin preparing for their Week 11 opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who come to FedExField Nov. 16.

Here's some notes of interest about the Redskins-Buccaneers Week 10 matchup, courtesy of Redskins Public Relations:

  • The Redskins face the Buccaneers in Week 11 following a bye in Week 10. Since bye weeks were instituted in 1990, the Redskins are 12-13 in games following bye weeks and can even that record with a victory against Tampa Bay this season.
  • The Redskins are 10-10 all-time against the Buccaneers including postseason play. The all-time regular season series between the two teams is tied at 9-9.
  • The Redskins won the teams' last meeting, a 24-22 victory in Tampa Bay on Sept. 30, 2012. Washington can win consecutive regular season games against Tampa Bay for the first time since 1998-2000.
  • The Redskins are 5-3 all-time in home games against the Buccaneers and will seek their first home win in the series since Oct. 4, 2009.
  • The last eight matchups between the Redskins and Buccaneers have been decided by one score or less. The teams' last three meetings have been decided by an average margin of two points.

(For more on this story -- and for much more from the game -- check back with *www.redskins.com.)*

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