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Minnesota Vikings 27, Los Angeles Chargers 20: Jefferson’s huge day leads Vikings to victory

It was a close one, just like we all expected it to be

Minnesota Vikings v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

We expected a game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Chargers to be close. It was simply a matter of who would make the necessary plays to come out on top. In the end, the visiting team got the job done.

Paced by huge performances by Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins, the Vikings powered their way to a 27-20 victory over the Chargers at SoFi Stadium in Week 10 NFL action.

The two teams played a scoreless first quarter, and the Vikings opened the second stanza in Chargers’ territory at the 31-yard line. After a short pass to Adam Thielen, the Vikings put the first points of the game on the board courtesy of the right foot of Greg Joseph. He connected on a 46-yard attempt to give Minnesota the lead at 3-0 less than a minute into the second quarter.

The Chargers answered with a field goal of their own on the next possession, as Dustin Hopkins connected from 45 yards out to tie things at 3-3. It appeared that Minnesota had a touchdown on the ensuing possession on a 1-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to C.J. Ham, but it was wiped out by a holding penalty on Christian Darrisaw. That left the Vikings to settle for another field goal from Joseph, this one a 30-yarder to make it 6-3.

Eric Kendricks struck for the Vikings on the Chargers’ next offensive play, as he made a great diving interception of Justin Herbert to give Minnesota the ball at the Los Angeles 31-yard line.

Minnesota then turned that into the game’s first touchdown, courtesy of a 5-yard strike from Kirk Cousins to Tyler Conklin for the score. Greg Joseph’s extra point was good and the Vikings led 13-3 with 3:26 left in the half.

Los Angeles cut into the lead on their next possession, as they moved down the field (with the assistance of a few Vikings penalties) and got into the end zone on a 1-yard dive from Larry Rountree for the score. Hopkins was good on the extra point and the score was 13-10 just before halftime.

The Chargers took the lead for the first time on the afternoon on the opening drive of the second half, marching down the field and ending the drive with a 2-yard strike from Justin Herbert to Austin Ekeler, with the extra point making the score 17-13 less than five minutes into the third quarter.

Late in the third quarter, the Vikings took the lead back on a fourth-and-goal play from the 1-yard line. Cousins dropped back to pass and found Conklin for their second scoring connection of the afternoon to make it 20-17 with two and a half minutes left in the half.

The Vikings then added to the lead after a three-and-out by the Chargers, marching down the field and getting into the end zone courtesy of a 1-yard plunge by Dalvin Cook. Joseph’s extra point was true, and with nine and a half minutes left in the game the Vikings took a 27-17 lead.

The Chargers added more points on their next possession, as they got Hopkins into position to attempt a 24-yard field goal. He connected, making the score 27-20 in favor of the Vikings with just over four and a half minutes left in the game.

The Vikings needed a big drive at the end to ice it, and they got one despite a personal foul on Luke Stocker at the start of the drive. They faced a 4th-and-2 from the Los Angeles 36-yard line and chose to go for it rather than attempt a long field goal. Dalvin Cook took a pitch to the right, found the edge, and picked up the first down. The Chargers had no timeouts remaining, and the Vikings just knelt the clock out from there to end their losing streak.

Justin Jefferson had a huge game for the Vikings in this one, hauling in nine catches for 143 yards to lead the team. Kirk Cousins played solid football as well, completing 25-of-37 passes for 294 yards and the pair of touchdowns to Conklin. Dalvin Cook, coming off of a tumultuous week, carried the ball 24 times for 94 yards and a score as well.

The Vikings move their record to 4-5 on the season, and they will return home next week to face off with the Green Bay Packers. The Chargers fall to 5-4 on the year and will host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football next week.

The Minnesota Vikings snap their two-game losing streak on the West Coast, taking away a 27-20 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. Thank you to everybody that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!