Vikings end skid in 33-26 win, but lose stars
The Vikings' losing streak ended on Christmas Eve, with help from a guy named Rudolph, but lost star running back Adrian Peterson and rookie quarterback Christian Ponder to injury.
Joe Webb, stepping in after Ponder suffered a concussion, ran for one touchdown and threw for two more scores, including one to tight end Kyle Rudolph, leading Minnesota (3-12) to a 33-26 win over Washington.
Minnesota's road win ended a six-game skid, but with a loss at home next Sunday against Chicago, the Vikings could still match the 1984 record of 3-13, the worst in the franchise's 51-year history.
Washington (5-10) may have knocked out Peterson and Ponder, but a fourth quarter interception killed a game-tying drive.
Webb took over play calling early in the second half Saturday for Ponder, who left with a concussion a few plays after Peterson's injury, and guided the Vikings to four scoring drives, including three touchdowns. Running back Toby Gerhart rambled for 109 yards on 11 rushes in Peterson's absence.
Defensive end Jared Allen notched a sack, giving him 18 on the year. Allen is 3 sacks shy of Chris Doleman's team record of 21, set in 1989, and 4½ short of Michael Strahan's single-season NFL record.
For the game, Peterson finished with 38 yards on 12 carries, 30 yards short of a 5th straight 1,000-yard season and 67 yards shy of the team's career rushing mark held by Robert Smith.