Adrian Peterson carried his team on his back Thursday night as the veteran running back rushed for 75 yards and two scores to help the Minnesota Vikings secure a much-needed 34-27 victory over the Washington Redskins at Mall of America Field.

Washington held a commanding 24-14 lead entering the second half as quarterback Robert Griffin III threw all three of his touchdown passes in the first two quarters. However, Washington was ultimately plagued by penalties as the team was flagged a total of eight times in the game. This made it much easier for Minnesota to storm back in the final stretch

"You can't do that," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said of the penalties. "You've got to keep your poise. You make mistakes like that and so often it will cost you the game."

Quarterback Christian Ponder was extremely efficient in the game despite throwing an interception, completing 17 of his 21 passes for two touchdowns. On One play during the team's 14-point third quarter, Ponder tucked the ball and ran until he dove into the end zone for a score.

"We just played the way we were supposed to," Ponder said. "We executed like an NFL team is supposed to, especially a 10-6 playoff team like we were last year. We really needed that, to help out with our confidence, and now that's our expectation for the rest of the year."

The win improved Minnesota to 2-7 on the year while Washington sunk to 3-6, paving the way for the New York Giants to gain some ground in the NFC East Standings. Big Blue is 2-6 and faces the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon.