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Minnesota Vikings 37, New York Jets 17: Vikings overcome ugly start for third straight win

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It wasn’t pretty, but the Vikings got the job done

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Minnesota Vikings overcame a slow start to do something that no Vikings team had ever accomplished: They defeated the New York Jets in East Rutherford.

Thanks to a defense that forced four Jets turnovers, including three interceptions by Sam Darnold, en route to a 37-17 victory at MetLife Stadium in Week 7 action.

Minnesota got on the board first in this one, and quickly, as Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen for a 34-yard touchdown on the Vikings’ first drive of the game. It look about a minute and a half, but the connection staked the Vikings to an early 7-0 lead.

The Jets drew even late in the first quarter on a very impressive drive, concluding with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold finding fellow rookie Chris Herndon for a 12-yard touchdown to make it 7-7.

The only points in the second quarter came on a 26-yard field goal by Dan Bailey, and the teams went into the locker room with the Vikings leading 10-7 after Bailey missed a field goal attempt just before the half.

Much like they did against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6, the Vikings took over in the third quarter. After stifling the Jets’ offense on the first drive of the quarter, the Vikings got themselves onto the scoreboard again, thanks to an 11-yard touchdown run by Latavius Murray. Bailey added the extra point, and the Vikings found themselves ahead 17-7.

The Vikings then got a huge play from their defense, as Harrison Smith picked off Darnold to give the Vikings great field position.

The Vikings could only manage a field goal out of it, however, and extended their lead to 20-7 on Bailey’s second of the day.

After the Jets got a 55-yard field goal from Jason Myers to cut it to 20-10, the Vikings got another big play from Murray. Set up by a nice run from rookie Roc Thomas, Murray took a handoff from Cousins and blasted 38 yards for a touchdown. Bailey added the extra point again, and the Vikings were up by 17 at 27-10.

The Jets cut into the lead after the Murray touchdown, as they marched down the field with little resistance, and the result was a 1-yard sneak by Sam Darnold to cut the Vikings’ lead to 27-17.

The Jets were driving on their next possession, but were halted by the first NFL interception by rookie Holton Hill, who came in to replace an injured Xavier Rhodes. On the ensuing drive, the Vikings were facing a 4th-and-8 from the Jets’ 34-yard line, and the Vikings elected to go for it. Cousins took the snap, and fired it deep for. . .Aldrick Robinson! And, since all Aldrick Robinson does is catch touchdowns, he brought it in for the score! Bailey added the extra point, and the Vikings were up 34-17 with just over five minutes remaining.

On the next drive, Darnold threw his third interception of the day, this one to Trae Waynes, and that pretty much wrapped things up for the Vikings. They turned that turnover into a Dan Bailey field goal, a 43-yarder that made it 37-17 late in the fourth.

Kirk Cousins had some fairly ugly moments during this one, but wound up with a respectable enough stat line. He completed 25-of-40 passes for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Adam Thielen did what Adam Thielen does, as he had nine catches for 110 yards and a score. That yardage figure gave him a tie for the most 100-yard receiving performances to start a season, tying him with Charlie Hennigan of the 1961 Houston Oilers. Robinson’s 34-yard touchdown actually made him the Vikings’ second-leading receiver in terms of yardage, and Stefon Diggs finished the afternoon with eight catches, but those catches only netted 33 yards.

On the ground, Latavius Murray had just 17 yards at halftime, but finished the game with 69 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Roc Thomas had 23 yards on his lone carry.

The defense was the big story in this one. They harassed Darnold all afternoon, forcing him into numerous interceptions and not allowing him to get comfortable. The box score shows just three sacks, but Darnold was under duress throughout the contest.

As we mentioned earlier, this was the first victory in franchise history for the Vikings at the Jets. The team’s all-time record is now just 3-8 against the Jets all-time, but coming into today they were 0-5 against the Jets in East Rutherford.

The Vikings move their record to 4-2-1 on the season with their third straight victory, and they’ve got a huge one next Sunday as they host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football. The Jets fall to 3-4 on the season, and next week will take on their second straight NFC North opponent as they travel to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears.

The Minnesota Vikings take down the New York J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets in Week 7 action at MetLife Stadium by a final score of 37-17. Thank you to everybody that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!