Even knocking out Minnesota superstar running back Adrian Peterson and quarterback Christian Ponder on the first and second plays of the second half wasn't enough to ensure the Redskins a win over the short-handed Vikings.
The game was tied at the time of the injuries, but Washington surrendered touchdowns on Minnesota's next three drives Saturday en route to yet another frustrating home loss, 33-26.
With the defeat, Washington (5-10) posted a third consecutive season with double-digit losses for just the second time in franchise history. The Redskins suffered their sixth consecutive home loss, tying for the second-worst skid in franchise history.
"Obviously, we didn't make (the fans) very happy with the way we played," said coach Mike Shanahan, who is 4-12 at home in his two years in Washington after going 83-29 at home during his 14 seasons in Denver.
The Redskins, who finish the season on New Year's Day at Philadelphia, weren't very happy with themselves a week after being very excited about upsetting the Giants on the road.
After holding Peterson to 38 yards on 12 carries and Ponder to 68 yards on 13 attempts, the Redskins were torched by Vikings backups Toby Gerhart (109 yards on 11 carries) and Joe Webb (84 yards and two touchdowns on five attempts). Webb also ran for a score. All told, Minnesota gained 241 yards on 38 carries.
"As a five-win team, I hope we don't come out overconfident," nose tackle Barry Cofield said. "Sometimes you just get punched in the mouth. It's depressing. The way we got trampled, it's the worst defense we played all year. Guys weren't playing well. Guys weren't in their gaps. That starts with me being the nose tackle. When teams run the ball like that, it hurts me personally."
Replacing Ponder with the more elusive Webb changed the Vikings' offense, but Cofield said, "We've had backups playing all year, and we expect those guys to produce. The dynamic of the game changes when you bring in Webb, but in reality, it's still nuts and bolts tackling and fitting in gaps. Those are the foundation of playing good defense and that's where we lacked today. You just gotta be fundamentally sound, and obviously, we weren't.
"I don't really think about the season as a whole. I'm more frustrated with today, them being able to run the ball wild like they did. It's very disappointing, especially coming off of last week where we played well. We got a lot to think about for next week. We got a lot to think about for the offseason. Hopefully guys use it as a driving force."
Free safety Reed Doughty said the big plays by Gerhart, Webb and receiver Percy Harvin were killers a week after the Redskins surrendered just one play over 20 yards to the Giants.
"We said, 'We can't give up any long runs,'" Doughty said. "You expect that from Adrian Peterson. With Gerhart, we had one missed assignment, that's a (67-yard) gain. That's a backbreaker."
BY THE NUMBERS: 6 -- Consecutive home losses for the Redskins, equaling the 1961 team for the second-longest, single-season skid in franchise history.
Redskins: ‘Dynamic' changed with Webb
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