LANDOVER, Md. (AP) – Members of the Minnesota Vikings’ offense leapfrogged over each other, then did the same to the Washington Redskins.
Case Keenum threw touchdowns to four different receivers to build a big lead, and the NFC North-leading Vikings won their fifth in a row by beating the Redskins 38-30 Sunday despite two second-half interceptions. With Teddy Bridgewater active for the first time since January 2016 after a devastating knee injury, Keenum was 21 of 29 for 304 yards and TD passes to Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, David Morgan and Jarius Wright.
Mixing the good with the bad, Keenum was picked off on consecutive throws by D.J. Swearinger.
“Case played outstanding,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “I wish the two throws he had in the second half he would have not made. He’s an excitable guy and he needs to understand when’s the good plays and bad plays sometimes.”
Thielen had eight catches for a season-high 166 yards, and the Vikings celebrated his TD by kneeling in a line the end zone while he and Diggs leapfrogged over them.
“We were just playing a little leapfrog, just taking it back to the playground,” Thielen said.
Latavius Murray also ran for a score as five players got into the end zone for Minnesota (7-2), which was 8 of 12 on third downs. The Vikings won their first game out of the bye week for the second time in eight seasons as they try to avoid a repeat of the swoon that cost them a playoff spot last season.
“This time around we just want to show that we’re a different team,” said Diggs, who had four catches for 78 yards. “We came back with a chip on our shoulders, and we still got a lot to prove.”
Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins had three TDs – two rushing and one passing – and was 26 of 45 for 327 yards with an interception . The Redskins (4-5) failed to build off an upset victory at Seattle and now find themselves on an uphill climb in the wild-card race.
“It seems like we’ve got this roller-coaster right now, where we’re up, down,” cornerback Josh Norman said after Washington allowed 406 yards and gained 394. “We’ve just got to get over that mark. And we will do that.”
BRIDGEWATER TEARS UP
Even though he didn’t get into the game, Bridgewater considered being active a major milestone and shed a “few tears of joy” during the national anthem.
“Opportunities like these don’t come along twice, so when you get that second opportunity, you cherish it, you hold it and you never want to let it go,” Bridgewater said. “Today, it got the best of me.”
WHAT A CATCH
A day after being called up from the practice squad, second-year Redskins receiver Maurice Harris came up with a highlight-reel grab: a diving, one-handed catch for a touchdown on the opening drive. The 36-yard play originally was ruled an incompletion, but the Redskins challenged and the call was reversed on replay review.
“I was surprised myself,” Harris said.”
This was Harris’ first game action this season – he last played in January – and the score represented the first TD of his career.
The Vikings’ leapfrog celebration was legal, but Diggs leaping into the base of the crossbar was good for a 15-yard penalty, even in the New Fun League .
“Something that won’t happen again,” Diggs said. “I won’t be giving out any more free hugs, so they got to pay for it now.”
Vikings: They played without DE Everson Griffen because of a foot injury. Griffen was the third player since the NFL began tracking sacks in 1982 to have one in each of his team’s first eight games of the season.
Redskins: Coach Jay Gruden said WR Ryan Grant is in the NFL’s concussion protocol. … RB Rob Kelley left with a knee/ ankle injury in the first quarter and will have an MRI. … S DeAngelo Hall sprained his right knee late in the second quarter, pressing CB Kendall Fuller to play out of position. … LB Will Compton left with a foot injury and will have an MRI.
Vikings: Host the high-scoring Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in a game that could sort some order in the crowded NFC playoff picture.
Redskins: Visit the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in a game they now badly need to win given their upcoming schedule.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.