The Minnesota Vikings got back on track in all aspects of the game, pushing them past the Los Angeles Chargers 27-20. The win improves Minnesota to 4-5 on the year, meanwhile Los Angeles drops to 5-4.
Both teams exchanged punts before Joey Bosa kicked off the action for the Chargers, forcing a fumble on Kirk Cousins, which would be recovered by Los Angeles. There would then be three consecutive field goal drives, two coming from Minnesota’s Greg Joseph, and the other coming from Los Angeles’ Mike Badgley. Later into the second quarter, Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks would pick off Justin Herbert to regain the ball for Minnesota. It would then lead to the first touchdown of the game by Tyler Conklin, on a 5 yard hitch in the red zone. The Chargers would run a 4 minute drill down field to set up their first touchdown of the game, and it would come from a Larry Rountree lll goal line push. Both teams would trade punts again, before heading into halftime.
The Chargers would receive the second half kick, and turn their first possession of the half into a touchdown by Austin Ekeler. A few possessions later, Tyler Conklin would catch another touchdown pass to put Minnesota up by 3. And just a drive later, the Vikings would add another touchdown to the score, this time from star running back Dalvin Cook. With the Vikings up by 10, Justin Herbert pushed the Chargers to another field goal, cutting down Minnesota’s lead to a score.
The Vikings would still need to keep their foot on the gas, in order to maintain the late game lead. And they would do just that, as Kirk Cousins launched two huge passes to receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. Both completions got the Vikings into Chargers territory. A few plays later, the Los Angeles defense would set up a crucial 4th & 2 play, with just minutes left. Dalvin Cook would receive the sweep play and move the sticks for a clutch first down to ice the game.
The Vikings produced great stats on both side of the field. Kirk Cousins threw for just under 300 yards and 2 touchdowns. Dalvin Cook ran for 93 yards and a touchdown, and Justin Jefferson had 9 receptions for 143 yards. These are the type of stat lines that wins Minnesota games. They have one of the most detailed offenses in the league, and has a ton of potential ahead of them in the future. Not only to mention the offense, but the defense played just as great as well.
Eric Kendricks recorded 8 tackles, an interception and a sack. This is exactly what the Vikings need in order to keep their defense in check. A veteran leader who’s presence is obvious. Minnesota has suffered numerous big injuries on the defensive side of the ball. And needs their remaining players to step up and make the plays. They did just that today.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert and the Chargers had a more quiet day against Minnesota. Herbert passed for 195 yards, with a passing touchdown and an interception. This is just Herbert’s third game game throwing for under 200 yards, in his 24 career games played. Los Angeles run game was also held into check, only running for 82 yards on 19 attempts. Keenan Allen was the only bright spot in the Chargers offense today, with 8 catches for 98 yards. Allen has quietly produced all year and has emerged as Herbert’s favorite target.
What’s Next For These Teams?
Minnesota will travel back home to play the division rival Green Bay Packers, after being on the road for two consecutive weeks. Green Bay is coming off a 17-0 win against the Seahawks, and will look to add on to their division lead against the Vikings.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers will stay in California, and host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. The Steelers are coming off a disappointing tie against the league worst Lions.
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