American Football: Vikings help embarrassed Redskins

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The Independent Online
THE Washington Redskins ended the 1992 regular season as they started it: in defeat. The defending Super Bowl champions were beaten 21-20 by the Los Angeles Raiders in front of their own fans in their final game. However Green Bay's 27-7 defeat by Minnesota means the Skins still go through to the play-offs while the Packers, who had won six in a row until yesterday's game, go out.

The Kansas City Chiefs also made it into the post-season. They took on the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium with the the winner assured of continued activity while the loser's season was over. The Chiefs prevailed 42-20.

Washington appeared to have won a tight encounter when Ricky Ervins went in for a touchdown from the one-yard line with 1min 57sec left, giving them a 20-14 lead. But the Raiders rallied behind their back-up quarterback, the 37-year-old Vince Evans who had replaced the injured Jay Schroeder. They moved up field on their final drive, the key play being a 50-yard bomb from Evans to Willie Gault which took the Raiders to the Washington eight- yard line with 51 seconds left.

Two runs by Nick Bell brought them to the three-yard line and Evans then threw an incomplete pass. This left the Raiders with a fourth and three with 13sec remaining. On the next play Evans was nailed by the pass rush but not before he had located Tim Brown in the end zone for the game's winning score.

The result was an upbeat conclusion to a season of disappointment for the Raiders. They have claimed some notable scalps but much of their play has lacked the tenacity for which they are famed, and they failed to make the play-off for the first time in three years.

The New Orleans Saints concluded their regular season with a typically dominating defensive effort in New York, beating the Jets 20-0. Highlight of a game they controlled throughout was Sam Mills's 75-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

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