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Cleveland Browns 14, Minnesota Vikings 7: Brutal offensive performance sends Vikings to 1-3

It was awfully ugly after the first drive

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The first seven and a half minutes of the Minnesota Vikings’ afternoon against the Cleveland Browns were as good as anybody could have hoped for. The fifty-two and a half minutes that followed? Not so much.

The Vikings scored on their opening possession of the game and then generated almost nothing on offense the rest of the way, falling

The Vikings struck first in this one, as they took the opening possession and marched down the field, taking up half of the first quarter to do so. The drive ended on a 12-yard strike from Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson, with the extra point from Greg Joseph making it 7-0 Vikings midway through the first quarter of play.

The game then remained scoreless until late in the second quarter. The Browns, who had failed on a fourth down deep in Minnesota territory earlier in the game, appeared to fail once again on an incomplete pass. However, a holding penalty on Eric Kendricks extended the drive, and the Browns took advantage with a 1-yard touchdown run from Kareem Hunt. The Browns got the two-point conversion to take an 8-7 lead, and also managed a 48-yarder from former Vikings’ practice squad kicker Chase McLaughlin to take an 11-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.

After a scoreless third quarter of play, the Browns extended their lead with another McLaughlin field goal, a 53-yarder to make it 14-7 with just over six minutes remaining in the game. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Cousins threw his first interception of the season as a deep shot for Adam Thielen was intercepted by Greedy Williams in Cleveland territory. It was the first interception for Cousins in 226 attempts, which stands as the franchise record.

The Vikings forced a punt from the Browns and moved into Cleveland territory at the two-minute warning. On 4th-and-3 from the Cleveland 33, the Vikings provided pretty much no protection for Cousins and he was taken down on the play for a turnover on downs. Cleveland ran out the clock and that pretty much did it for the afternoon.

The Vikings’ offense was just brutal after the opening drive, particularly on the offensive line, as they just let Cousins get pressured all afternoon. That led to the worst offensive performance of the year for the purple, as they fall to 1-3 on the season.

Minnesota concludes their three-game homestand next week by hosting the Detroit Lions, while the Browns will travel to the west coast to take on the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Vikings fall to the Browns by a final score of 14-7 in Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season. Thank you to everybody that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!