On Thursday Night Football, the Minnesota Vikings appeared to have everything going their way as they took on the Dallas Cowboys, and it looked like they had a real chance to pull off the upset.
But, as we’ve become accustomed to over the years, it just wound up not happening that way.
Despite a furious, last-minute comeback attempt, the Vikings just couldn’t get over the hump and take down the NFL’s best team, losing to the Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium by a final score of 17-15.
Minnesota got on the board first in this one, courtesy of a 48-yard field goal from Kai Forbath to take a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. Prior to that, it appeared that the Vikings had gotten a fumble from Ezekiel Elliott deep in Dallas territory, but replay showed that Elliott recovered the fumble before it was taken away from Linval Joseph, so Dallas kept the football. That was all the scoring from the first fifteen minutes of play.
Dallas took their first lead of the evening with five and a half minutes to go in the first half, courtesy of a 1-yard touchdown run by Elliott. The play was set up by a 56-yard connection from Dak Prescott to Dez Bryant on a play where it appeared Harrison Smith bit on a fake and got beaten deep. Dan Bailey’s extra point put the visiting team ahead by a score of 7-3.
Minnesota generated the only points of the third quarter, courtesy of a 36-yard field goal from Forbath to make the score 7-6. Following a huge strip-sack by Brian Robison, the Vikings had to settle for yet another field goal from Forbath, this one from 33 yards out to give themselves back the lead at 9-7.
A Minnesota miscue set up the next points of the game, as Adam Thielen fumbled on a punt return to give the Cowboys the football at the Minnesota 8-yard line. One play later, Prescott found Bryant for an 8-yard touchdown pass to give the Cowboys the lead back at 14-9.
Bailey added a 39-yard field goal to extend Dallas’ lead to 17-9 with about four minutes left in the ball game. Minnesota got a final possession with just over two minutes to go, and Sam Bradford did what he needed to do, pushing the ball down the field and getting into the end zone for the first time on the evening, as Bradford found Jerick McKinnon for a 3-yard touchdown pass to make the score 17-15. The Vikings needed a two-point conversion. . .and they didn’t get it, as Bradford badly overthrew Kyle Rudolph in the end zone after a false start by Jeremiah Sirles made it a 7-yard attempt.
Forbath attempted an onside kick, but it was recovered by the Cowboys, and that was the end of things at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Minnesota’s defense played their tails off for most of the evening. The Cowboys came into the contest averaging 407 yards of offense a game, and the Vikings held them to 264. They were also averaging 28.7 points/game, and the Vikings held them to 17. But, there were just too many errors at big times for the home team, and as a result they’ve dropped six of their last seven games and have fallen to 6-6 after their 5-0 start.
For the Vikings, Sam Bradford played a fairly decent game. He completed 32-of-45 passes on the night for 247 yards and a touchdown. Jerick McKinnon carried the ball nine times for 41 yards to lead the team in rushing, and Adam Thielen was the team’s leading receiver with 86 yards on seven catches.
On the Cowboys’ side, the Vikings managed to hold Dak Prescott to just 139 passing yards on 12-of-18 passing. Dez Bryant was the Cowboys’ leading receiver with 84 yards and a touchdown on four catches, while Ezekiel Elliott managed 86 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
The Vikings fall to 6-6 on the season, and won’t play again until 11 December when they travel to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Cowboys are now 11-1 after their eleventh consecutive win, and will play their next game on 12 December as well when they face the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.
The Minnesota Vikings fall to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football by a final score of 17-15. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!