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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26, Minnesota Vikings 14: Missed opportunities doom Vikings in loss

Can’t make this many mistakes and still win

Minnesota Vikings v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

When you’re playing a team as talented as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s imperative that you take advantage of every opportunity you’re given or you’re probably not going to win.

The Minnesota Vikings found this out the hard way on Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium.

Courtesy, at least in part, of three missed field goals and a missed extra point from Dan Bailey, the Vikings shot themselves in the foot enough times to make sure that they could not be victorious, losing to the Buccaneers by a final score of 26-14.

After a scoreless first quarter of play, the Vikings got on the board early in the second quarter, with Dalvin Cook scoring his fourteenth touchdown of the season on a 1-yard run. Dan Bailey missed his third extra point in the last two games, and that made the lead 6-0 in favor of the purple.

Following a missed 36-yard field goal attempt from Bailey, the Buccaneers got on the board via a 48-yard bomb from Tom Brady to Scotty Miller for a touchdown. The extra point from Ryan Succop put the Vikings down 7-6 midway through the second quarter in a game that they had been dominating to that point.

Tampa added to their lead late in the second quarter, as Ronald Jones went over on a 1-yard run. After another Succop extra point, the teams went into the locker room with the Buccaneers leading by a score of 14-6.

On the final offensive play of the first half, the Vikings got called for pass interference on a Hail Mary attempt, giving the Buccaneers an opportunity to add an 18-yard field goal from Ryan Succop to take a 17-6 lead into the locker room.

Tampa also scored on the first possession of the second half, getting a 1-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Rob Gronkowski. They missed an extra point of their own to make the score 23-6.

The Vikings then cut into the lead thanks to a 14-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Irv Smith Jr. late in the third quarter. The Vikings got a two-point conversion on a pass from Cousins to Justin Jefferson, and with a little over a minute left in the third quarter the score became 23-14.

After another field goal miss from Bailey, his third of the day, the Buccaneers added to their lead with a 48-yard field goal from Succop to make it 26-14 with just over five minutes left in the contest. The Vikings got another possession, but Kirk Cousins was sacked on a fourth-down attempt to give the ball back to the home team and seal the Vikings’ fate.

Kirk Cousins was under siege for most of the afternoon, as he was sacked six times by the Buccaneers’ defense. Despite that, he completed 24-of-37 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown. Irv Smith Jr., coming off of a stretch where he missed three out of four games, had four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon. Tyler Conklin actually led the team in receptions with five in an expanded role in the absence of Kyle Rudolph. Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen were each limited to 39 yards receiving on the afternoon.

Dalvin Cook had another 100-yard day, carrying the ball 22 times for 102 yards and a score. He had most of that in the first half but it was still a solid afternoon for #33.

That will do it for this one from Tampa, ladies and gentlemen. The Minnesota Vikings fall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 26-14 and, for now, drop out of the final NFC playoff position. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!