Not championship material yet, Vikings fall to the Chiefs, 27-20
With a strong fight to the finish, the Minnesota Vikings fall short with a loss to the Kansas City Chief 27-20.
The Vikings started off with the typical errors Vikings fans are used to with Josh Oliver fumbling the football on the first play. This set the stage for Patrick Mahomes & Kansas City Chiefs to strike first, with Isiah Pacheco rushing in for the opening touchdown.
The Vikings countered with some impressive plays from T.J. Hockenson, Justin Jefferson and K.J. Osborn on passing plays, and Alexander Mattison’s rushing attempts. Nevertheless, there were a few hiccups during the offensive drive with Kirk Cousins being sacked by Leo Chenal of the Chiefs. Additionally, the Vikings continued to face more difficulty in converting on 3rd downs leading Greg Joseph to get the Viking’s first points on the board making it 7-3. The first quarter ended with a spectacular defensive effort, as D.J. Wonnum and Danielle Hunter sacked Mahomes, setting the tone for the second quarter.
The Viking’s defense again remained strong at the beginning of the second quarter. Forcing a 4th down and limiting the Chiefs to a field goal, making the game 10-3. However, the Viking’s offense continued to struggle even though multiple flags on the Chiefs assisted them in pushing down the field. Once again, they couldn’t convert on key plays and Joseph added another successful field goal to the scoreboard, making 6-10. The Viking’s defense once again prevented Mahomes from another push for a touchdown that turned into a punt. The Vikings took the whole stadium by surprise with a fake punt play on 4th to convert for a first down and more to continue the push down the field. With several successful pass plays to Brandon Powell, Cousins connects to Jordan Addison for their first touchdown of the game making the game 13-13 going into the half.
The Viking’s defense continued to shine at the start of the third, with Marcus Davenport sacking to get Mahomes. The defense showcased more remarkable plays, including a near interception by Camryn Bynum almost ripping out the ball for a pick from Chiefs’ tight end Justin Watson. However, the Viking’s luck continued to sour when Harrison Smith was called for interference on a crucial 4th and 1 play by the Chiefs. The Chiefs took advantage of the opportunity with a Travis Kelce touchdown, giving them a 26-13 lead.
The fourth quarter was filled with drama as the Vikings mounted a strong drive which concluded with a Mattison touchdown, bringing the game to 27-20. Unfortunately, both Jefferson and Hockenson were hurt on two separate plays and didn’t return to the lineup. In their absence, players like Brandon Powell and Johnny Mundt stepped up in some critical rushing plays as the clock clicked down in the fourth. Despite Cousins taking two big sacks and a daring attempt to convert on a 4th down play the drama continued. In that last fourth down play, a flag was thrown for a pass-interference call on L’Jarius Sneed who was covering Jordan Addison in the in-zone. Sneed took off his helmet after the flag was thrown in the endzone questioning the play, but the flag was ultimately overturned for the pass-interference play, but no extra penalty was assessed to Sneed for his actions at the end of the play. The action should have been called for an unsportsmanlike penalty but with the Vikings out of timeouts couldn’t challenge the action.
In the final minutes of the game, the Viking’s defense held strong, preventing the Chiefs from advancing down the field once more. Mahomes attempted to draw an offsides penalty but didn’t work on the impressive Vikings’ defense. With no timeouts left and dwindling time on the clock, The Vikings made a final push up the field, but Cousins was sacked on the last hail mary play, sealing another loss for the team.
Key takeaways in the game
Defense is holding strong: Despite a few misplays, the Vikings’ defense showcased its strength by holding the two-time Super Bowl champions in crucial moments throughout the game.
Convert on critical downs: The Vikings struggled with momentum on important 3rd and 4th down plays. While they surprised fans with that amazing fake punt trick play, they need to maintain consistency in converting opportunities early in games and not be desperate in late games.
Dealing with the injuries: With key players like T.J. Hockenson, Justin Jefferson, and Akayleb Evans sidelined due to injuries, the Vikings must develop backup plans to cope with these significant losses. The performances of Powell and Mundt in this game demonstrate that they do have some capable replacements to fill in for the injured players. Alongside that, Vikings fans might see Cam Akers and Mattison getting more touches if those key offense players can’t get back into it right away.
Next week the Vikings should hopefully have an advantage over the Chicago Bears as they head into week 5 for a 1-4 NFC North matchup.