MINNEAPOLIS — Another close game, another win for the Minnesota Vikings.
On Sunday it looked like the Vikings could lead the New York Jets 20-3 in the second quarter and 27-15 in the fourth quarter. But nothing is ever easy for this team.
Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios dropped a pass in the end zone for the potential go-ahead, with 1:43 in the game, then safety Camryn Bynum intercepted quarterback Mike White with 10 seconds left as the Vikings called for a 27-22 held win.
Because the Detroit Lions beat Jacksonville 40-14 at Ford Field on Sunday, the Vikings (10-2) didn’t win the NFC North. But the Vikings can sew up the division with a win next Sunday in Detroit (5-7). Green Bay (5-8) retired from the division race despite a 28-19 win in Chicago.
The Jets (7-5) had two chances to win. On the first, Berrios dropped a perfect pass from White; The ball hit the turf as the receiver tried to pull it to his chest. After getting the ball back, the Jets had a first and a ten at the Vikings’ 19-yard line. But White threw three incompletions before Bynum picked him up at the goal-line and slid onto the turf to seal the win.
The Jets passed the Vikings by 486 yards to 287 yards but had to settle for five field goals from Greg Zuerlein.
Kirk Cousins threw for 173 yards and Dalvin Cook rushed for 86 yards for the Vikings. White threw 369 yards for the Jets and rookie Garrett Wilson caught eight passes for 162 yards.
The Vikings started slow as Cousins failed on his first five passes. With a 3-3 draw late in the third quarter, Minnesota got underway after Cousins threw a 7-yard close on fourth-ranked and 2-ranked KJ Osborn at the Jets 49. This led to an early four-yard touchdown run by Cook in the second quarter and a 10-3 lead.
The Vikings extended their lead to 20-3 later in the second quarter with a 14-yard touchdown run from Alexander Mattison and a 41-yard field goal from Greg Joseph. The Jets reduced the deficit to 20-6 with a 60-yard field goal from Zuerlein just before halftime. It was the third 60-yard field goal against the Vikings this season, an NFL record.
Zuerlein set the record for the longest field goal ever at US Bank Stadium. Dallas kicker Brett Maher made one from that distance two weeks earlier. New Orleans’ Wil Lutz had a 60-yard boot against Minnesota in London on Oct. 2.
Zuerlein added field goals from 35 yards and 30 yards in the third quarter to reduce the deficit to 20-12, then added a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to take the Vikings’ lead to 20- 15 to shorten.
The Vikings took a 27-15 lead on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Justin Jefferson, 8:33 in the game. But the Jets came right back to score on a one-yard touchdown run by White to reduce the deficit to 27-22 with a 6:45. White was originally considered stopped, but the call was overturned after a replay challenge by the Jets.
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