The Vikings’ playoff hopes are life-sustaining after a tightrope act in the late afternoon against the cowboys on Sunday. The reasons they are 4-6 rather than 5-5 were too many for Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, and Justin Jefferson to have overcome.
They fell 31-28 against the Cowboys in a game full of leadership changes, great catches from Vikings and Cowboys receivers, and hard-to-explain penalties that bring the game to a close with the Vikings’ inability to make a defensive stop.
« I think we didn’t play well enough today to win, » said coach Mike Zimmer, citing penalties, defending in the red zone and a slow attack on the offensive as particular problems.
The Vikings play their next two at home, against the Panthers with four wins and the Jaguars with one win before heading to Tampa Bay.
You missed the chance to finish for the last NFC placeholder in a Cardinals game and must win against the Panthers and Jaguars to maintain your post-season berth chance.
Cook, Thielen and Jefferson touched 42 of their 57 offensive games in the first 57 minutes of the game.
The Vikings’ last chance to tie the game ended with a four-yard run from Cook, a badass fall from Jefferson, and two incomplete passes to Thielen, the one at the final game the officials initially misunderstood , got a yellow stud for a flag.
The Vikings’ list of penalties also included a chopping block, a face mask call to the recipient Bisi Johnson, and Harrison Smith was marked for another 15-yard foul for a hit that again left the Vikings wondering what else was safety could have done.
The Vikings missed a chance for a big game on a fake punt pass from Britton Colquitt to Kris Boyd after the umpires reported Boyd for an illegal shift, and Boyd was called in for a background block on the following punt.
Thielen finished the race with eight catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns, including a one-handed grip with a toe stand in the far corner of the end zone that called the Hall of Famer Cris Carter – whom Thielen grew up an observer – and pulled the Vikings inside of two in the third quarter. Dallas led 16-7 at halftime after scoring 10 points from Cousins and Cook.
Thielen’s second TD gave the Vikings the lead for the first time since the first quarter, and after the Cowboys got ahead on the longest run, each team has posted against the Vikings this season (a 42-yard score of Tony Pollard on the right side of the Dallas line) hit cousins Jefferson for a 39 yard score as the rookie battled through an attack from cornerback Anthony Brown.
After forcing a Viking barge, the cowboys drove 59 meters to Viking-2 in less than two minutes, where Andy Dalton hit a two-yard pass to Dalton Schultz to confuse the Vikings. secondary.
Ben Goessling reports on the Vikings for the Star Tribune. He has covered the team since 2012 and was previously in charge of the Twins, Wild, Washington Nationals and prep sports.
Dallas Cowboys, Andy Dalton, Vikings of Minnesota, NFL
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