Redskins Rolling: Redskins 32, Vikings 21

AP Photo-Jim Mone

The four-game losing streak … the death of Sean Taylor … one injury after another. … and now this: A playoff berth there for the taking.

It's hard to imagine, just a few weeks ago, the Redskins reaching this point. But that's where they are following Sunday's 32-21 win over host Minnesota. The Redskins improved to 8-7 and if they beat Dallas at home on Sunday, they'll reach the postseason for the second time in three years.

And they will have earned it, thanks to injuries and the Taylor tragedy. Most teams would have given up on such a season. But instead the Redskins are rolling into the postseason – if they can finish up with a win over Dallas, which already has clinched home field advantage.

Can you say, ‘'We Want Dallas!"?

The Redskins won by stopping Minnesota's top-ranked rushing attack, holding the Vikings to 87 yards. They had averaged nearly 170 per game. And Washington became the first team to crack 100 yards rushing against them this season, finishing with 106.

Washington confused the Vikings with multiple looks, running everything from the old Bear 46 defense to a 4-4 front. The Redskins also tackled exceptionally well.

They made life difficult for Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson from the start. They blitzed him on their first series and forced him into an interception that corner Fred Smoot, facing his old team, to the 8-yard line. Washington failed on fourth and goal, but the defense forced a safety for a 2-0 lead.

Following the free kick, the Redskins drove 66 yards for a touchdown, a 33-yard Todd Collins to Chris Cooley strike. And receiver Santana Moss made it 16-0 with a leaping 32-yard grab, following a Shawn Springs interception.

The first half still wasn't over. But the game nearly was just before halftime when Clinton Portis threw a halfback option 15 yards to Antwaan Randle El for another score. The two-point conversion failed, but a 22-0 halftime lead still looked good.

Minnesota crawled back into the game, getting to 25-14 when the final turning point occurred. With the Vikings gathering momentum midway through the fourth quarter, Collins hit Moss at the Minnesota 48-yard line. Replays showed he might not have gotten both feet in-bounds. So the Redskins hustled to the line and snapped the ball. But Collins lost the ball and Minnesota recovered.

But Joe Gibbs called for a challenge, saying the Vikings had 12 men on the field. Replays agreed and the Redskins drove for the clinching touchdown.

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