Sunday, January 16, 2022

NFC North Week 11 Roundup: Minnesota Vikings Surprise Green Bay Packers on Last-Second Field Goal While Detroit Lions Go Winless

To coach Mike Zimmer’s husky, the Minnesota Vikings have made quite a habit of these white-knuckle, high-tension finishes.

All that experience will pay off. He deftly followed the winning formula to defeat the Green Bay Packers, making sure Aaron Rodgers was on edge and not on the field at the end.

Greg Joseph scored a 29-yard field goal as time ran out to give the hosts Vikings a 34-31 victory over the Packers in a classic back-end with their division rival and longtime nemesis.

“You know how they say, ‘Sunday is the fun day’? It’s not at all,” said a weary Zimmer after the game was decided at the final snap for the sixth time in 10 games. The Vikings (5-5) ) has won three and lost three of them.

The only team in the NFL this year to have a seven or more point lead in every game, the Vikings are decided by a single point in all games. Kirk Cousins ​​went through 341 yards and three touchdowns to help the Vikings stay one step ahead of Rodgers for most of the afternoon.

“Hopefully going forward we can find our way to hook into teams, put them away when we have to, but we’re still trying to learn how to do that,” said cornerback Patrick Peterson. said. “I think we will continue to get better as these conditions continue.”

Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, all on the Packers’ last four full possessions, except for taking a knee to end the first half. All those drives covered 74 yards or more.

Rodgers finished 23 of 33 for a season-high 385 yards for the Packers (8-3). After losing time prior to COVID-19, Rodgers was unable to practice much this week due to a toe injury.

“It’s very, very painful. I stepped into the first half, and kind of activated all the symptoms that I had,” Rodgers said. “It’s going to be another painful week next week, and Then hopefully I can recover during the goodbye.”

Justin Jefferson scored eight receptions for 169 yards and two for the Vikings, including a third-down catch against rookie Eric Stokes, delivered by Cousins ​​for a 23-yard touchdown, while decked out on a blitz by Darnell Savage. it was done. Dalvin Cook took part in a 2-point conversion to make up for the extra point that Joseph had missed earlier.

On the next play from scrimmage, Rodgers threw a rainbow to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, streaking past safety Xavier Woods for a 75-yard score to tie the game just before two-minute warning.

“Every game with this guy is a fight. You just hope, when they go down and score in a play, that the offense can come back and do what they did,” Zimmer said. “So I was proud of them for that.”

When the Vikings got the ball back, Cousins ​​paid himself a return by slightly knocking Jefferson down, which Savage came out to intercept the ball. However, he turned it down on the way down, and a replay review reversed the call.

Cousins ​​then went 3 out of 51 for 51 yards on the next three snaps, and Cook – who ran for 86 yards and a touchdown – ran for another first down. Then the Vikings kneeled twice to set up a final kick by Joseph.

“It’s just life in the NFL. It’s exciting,” said the cousin. “I definitely understand why people want to follow and watch it.”

The Vikings posted the highest score against the Packers since their 38–3 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the season opener. The Packers lost only 34 points in the last three matches.

Preston Smith had two sacks, but the Packers did not have the same pass rush, bypassing outside linebacker Ration Gary (elbow). Zadarius Smith and Whitney Mersillas are also out with long-term injuries.

Rodgers threw Davante Adams twice for touchdowns, including an 18-yard strike on the third and -6 midway through the fourth quarter, when he was attempting to call a timeout before the shotgun snap.

Adams has 12 scoring receptions against the Vikings, the most by any player.

“When you’re playing an offense that’s hot and has a hot quarterback and stud receiver and a stud back, you have to keep scoring,” Rodgers said. “We have to start fast.”

The Browns gave the Lions victory with a 13-10 win

With the results in doubt and their season in serious danger, the Cleveland Browns turned to their most reliable player.

Nick Chubb came as usual.

“We needed him and he showed up,” said Browns cornerback Denzel Ward.

Chubb caught a touchdown pass, ran for 130 yards and helped run the clock as the Browns held on to avoid a season-breaking upset and beat the Detroit Lions in Sunday’s 13-10 win in Cleveland. deprived.

Chubb returned to the lineup after missing a game due to COVID-19. The running back star caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield and then helped the Browns (6-5) clear the Lions (0-9-1).

Brown went ahead three and took the ball back with a 2:29. As the FirstEnergy Stadium crowd chanted “Chub, chub” before every snap, coach Kevin Stefansky hands Mayfield the ball to one of the NFL’s best backs.

Chub whipped out runs for 3, 4, 11 and 15 yards to ice it.

“Everyone was chanting Chub’s name at the end,” Browns defensive end Miles Garrett. said. “I was definitely excited for my boy.”

Wide receiver Jarvis Landry ran for a score as Brown barely made a comeback after being blown away by 38 points in New England last week.

The Lions couldn’t find any momentum in their 16-16 match in Pittsburgh a week ago and made some critical mistakes while extending their winning streak to 14 games. They are the only winning team in the league.

“No one likes to lose,” said the Lions, trailing D’Andre Swift, who finished with a career-high 136 yards. “We want to win, so it’s disappointing.”

Swift broke a 57-yard touchdown run in the second half to keep the Lions close.

Kicker Aldrik Rosas scored a 43-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to draw the Lions to within 13-10. However, the Lions offense could not come up with another big game, and coach Dan Campbell decided to punt with 2:36, giving his team the last chance.

“I thought we’d get the ball back,” Campbell said. “I’m sure there are people who consider me too conservative, but you have to be careful and you have to be smart. We are trying to win the match 14-13 or 16-13.”

The Lions played without starting quarterback Jared Goff, who suffered an oblique injury against the Steelers. Tim Boyle scored 15 of 23 for 77 yards with two interceptions in his first NFL debut.

Mayfield was limited in practice this week with shoulder, leg and knee injuries. He threw a first-half interception and had other issues in the wet conditions before connecting with Chub late in the second quarter.

Mayfield finished 15 of 29 for 176 yards with two interceptions. He refused to speak to reporters after the match.

Landry’s 16-yard scoring run came on a gadget formation to start the second quarter. The Browns were determined to get Landry more touches, and the sure-handed receiver went past the center with Mayfield’s shift to the right. Landry took the snap and rolled back to his right, rolling to the left.

With none open, Landry tucked the ball and sprinted into the middle for his second rushing touchdown this season.

The Browns took a two-touchdown lead late in the half with the help of the Lions, who took three penalties – two by cornerback Amani Oruvariye – capped by a touchdown catch from Chub on a 76-yard scoring drive.

Boyle came in with only four career pass attempts. Goff did not practice this week, and his position for Thursday’s Thanksgiving game against the Chicago Bears remains uncertain.

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