The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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October 14, 2012

RG3 helps Washington shut door on Vikings

LANDOVER, Md. — At least the Minnesota Vikings know their defense won't be tasked with trying to stop Robert Griffin III again during the regular season.0

What running back Adrian Peterson and the rest of the Vikings want to figure out right away is how to get the ball in the end zone from the red zone. To a man, the Vikings regretted the field goals they settled for instead of touchdowns on three drives that stalled inside the 10-yard line Sunday in the first quarter of a 38-26 loss to Griffin's Washington Redskins.

"I don't know our defense, what they feel like they need to improve on, but offensively, we need to turn those 3 points into 7s. Period. It's not a game if we do that," Peterson said. "I'm going to make sure I harp on that all week and we really take it personal. Because it's happened for four weeks in a row."

Even players on defense for Minnesota (4-2) — which allowed a total of only 33 points in its previous three outings, and hadn't given up more than 23 in any game this season — lamented that early string of field goals.

"We need to score more touchdowns," said cornerback Antoine Winfield, who intercepted Griffin on Washington's second drive.

On Minnesota's first possession, a first-and-goal at the 10 led to fourth down at the 2. On came Blair Walsh for a 20-yard field goal.

Minnesota's second possession stalled at the 9, and Walsh hit from 27 yards.

Same thing the next time the Vikings had the ball.

"We had a chance to go up 21-nothing," receiver Percy Harvin pointed out, "and we didn't do that."

That's true.

At the outset of the game, the Vikings built up a 148-7 advantage in total yards, yet they only turned that into a 9-0 lead.

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