For the majority of the week, we heard about how Kirk Cousins couldn’t perform in prime time games. That narrative kind of went by the wayside on Sunday Night Football between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers.
Paced by three touchdown passes by Cousins, the Vikings put away the Packers by a final score of 24-17 and took a big step towards securing a postseason berth in the NFC.
The Packers got on the board first in this one, courtesy of a 15-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams to make it 7-0. Minnesota then quickly answered back, thanks to Dalvin Cook picking up his first score since Week 4 of the 2017 season when he caught a swing pass from Kirk Cousins and blasted into the end zone for a 26-yard score.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) November 26, 2018
The Chef is cookin' this Thanksgiving weekend. pic.twitter.com/iYAc4KKPQW
That tied the score at 7-7, but Green Bay took the lead back on their next drive with a 6-yard touchdown run from Aaron Jones to go up 14-7. After the teams changed ends, the Vikings answered with another Kirk Cousins touchdown pass, this one to a wide-open Stefon Diggs from 30 yards out.
NASTY route running on the switch concept pic.twitter.com/djajws908D— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) November 26, 2018
That was how the teams went into the locker room, thanks to a pair of missed field goals by Dan Bailey. Bailey eventually put one through midway through the third quarter to give the Vikings their first lead at 17-14, and later in the third quarter Cousins did it again, this time finding Adam Thielen for a 14-yard score.
.@KirkCousins8 ➡️ @athielen19— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) November 26, 2018
Like clockwork. pic.twitter.com/oHxfZki4rZ
That gave the Vikings a ten-point lead at 24-14 heading into the fourth quarter of play. Minnesota got a big break with about six minutes remaining when Matt Wile punted the ball away and Tramon Williams appeared to get caught between fielding it and letting it bounce. Instead, it bounced off of him, and Marcus Sherels was on the spot to recover the muffed punt down at the Green Bay 15-yard line. Unfortunately, the Vikings didn’t come away with points, as Cousins’ pass was deflected at the line on 4th-and-2.
The Packers got a field goal from Mason Crosby late, a 38-yarder to cut the lead to 24-17. They went for an onside kick, but Kyle Rudolph scooped it up for Minnesota. The Vikings got the one first down they needed to run out the clock, and walked off with a huge NFC North victory.
Cousins played about as well as you could hope for in this one, as he completed 29-of-38 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Leading the team in receiver was Adam Thielen once again, as he hauled in eight passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. Stefon Diggs had a big night as well, with eight catches for 77 yards and a score of his own. Kyle Rudolph had what was probably his best game of the season, with seven catches for 63 yards, and Dalvin Cook chipped in with three catches for 47 yards and a score.
The Vikings’ defense stepped up in a huge way in the second half, holding the Packers to just three points after halftime and sacking Aaron Rodgers four times. Two of those sacks went to Sheldon Richardson, while Everson Griffen and Tom Johnson picked up one each.
Minnesota moves their record to 6-4-1 on the season, and they’ve got a big one coming up next week as they travel to the Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots. The Packers fall to 4-6-1, and they will return home next week to take on the Arizona Cardinals.
The Minnesota Vikings get a huge victory on Sunday Night Football, taking down the Green Bay Packers by a final score of 24-17. Thanks to everybody that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!