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Never a doubt?  In a savage finish, the Vikings beat the Packers 34-31 in the last second FG


A Vikings team that looked left for dead two weeks ago are 5-5, controlling their own destiny for a wildcard spot in the seven-team NFC Playoff field, and owning one of the hottest offensives in the NFL.

These facts would have seemed ludicrous two weeks ago, after back-to-back losses put the Vikings at 3-5. But an aggressive attack that earned them a road victory a week ago was even better on Sunday, with two goals scored in the final three minutes of the game to give the Vikings a 34-31 victory over the Packers on Sunday at US Bank. Stadium.

Kirk Cousins ​​threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns, putting the Vikings in position for the winning field after the Packers looked like they could steal a game the Vikings led by two touchdowns in the first half.

Aaron Rodgers hit Marquez Valdes-Scantling for 75 yards per play after the Vikings regained the lead with 2:08 left, and Darnell Savage – who had an interception canceled by a brutal passer call in the first halftime – cut a corner road to Justin Jefferson for an apparent choice.

But an examination showed the ball touching the ground as Savage descended, and Cousins ​​found Dalvin Cook 19 yards on a screen, before connecting with Adam Thielen for 26 when Rasul Douglas attempted an interception. Greg Joseph’s 29-yard field goal with a record time capped a wild victory.

The Vikings preached aggression again this week after beating the Chargers last Sunday, and coach Mike Zimmer devised new defensive wrinkles that got players excited for the way they could affect Rodgers.

Minnesota started the game with Camryn Bynum as part of a three-safety forfeit with Harrison Smith in the slot, before placing Anthony Barr in the middle linebacker in game two of the game. Sheldon Richardson worked on the defensive end, pressuring Rodgers on a third down before Mason Crosby’s field goal attempt hit the left upright in the second quarter.

For much of the first half, Rodgers – who hadn’t trained much in the past two weeks due to COVID-19 and a toe injury – appeared out of sync with his receivers and affected by the Vikings’ cover programs, holding the ball and the pursuit throws down the field as the pass rush pursued him. Green Bay committed six penalties for 77 yards in the first half, their linemen called out to hold twice and illegal hands to the face once.

The cousins ​​started looking towards Jefferson more frequently a week ago against the Chargers and found him for two deep strikes in the first quarter: a cross run that lasted 43 yards and a shot on goal that went lasted 56 yards. The Vikings lost a challenge as Jefferson hit the end zone before his knee hit the turf, but Dalvin Cook walked in unscathed on the next play.

In the Vikings’ next practice, Savage mis-timed a jump for a deep ball and was assessed a 37-yard penalty for interference with a pass on the second down. Then, after Cousins ​​threw behind Jefferson and Savage knocked him out on the third down, Kingsley Keke received a roughing penalty on the passer for a helmet-to-helmet hit on the quarterback. Cousins ​​knocked out Adam Thielen for a touchdown against Kevin King three games later.

As it became a near-weekly event, however, the Vikings gave up a touchdown before half-time, when Rodgers rolled to his left and hit Josiah Deguara for 25 yards. Even though the Vikings responded with a 75-yard walk to start the second half with a touchdown from Cousins ​​to Jefferson (who had lined up in the backfield), Rodgers led a pair of strikes to give Green Bay lead 24-23, finding a Davante Adams wide open for the go-ahead score.

The quarterback had attempted to signal a time-out, but did not get the save as the ball had already been broken when he raised his hands for the time-out. The confusion could have made the Vikings’ defense think the play was over; in any case, Adams was wide open beyond Mackensie Alexander.

The Vikings had plenty of time to score and regain the lead, with Cousins ​​hitting Jefferson off a 24-yard ball and Cook dancing for a two-point conversion.

It wasn’t the final score they’d need on a crazy afternoon, but they showed they can afford what they need to have.


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